Ring A Round the Rosy

Winter has appeared on and off in the Delta, one day it is hot, the next freezing. The flood has left us all shell shocked and ravaged by its length and breadth of damage. My oil painting studio is now on hold for the rebuild; so for now I am painting mostly with acrylic and occasional oil when the weather is agreeable in my garage. It is not ideal; but it is, what it is and I am happy enough. Acrylic work goes more quickly due to the drying times with the thinner acrylic layers and because of this I tend to use many more layers to achieve my intent, and with those extra layers come many more lessons in how paint can be applied. Almost all of my work is derivative of some aspect that I experienced in my life. When I was young we moved into the house that my Godmother, Ethel Smith had previously lived in. It was at one time a one room school house, nestled at the toe of the foothills that separate the delta from the hills in Mississippi. This one room had been added onto and made into a home, and we later added onto it twice more before I had left for college, so that it became a rather decent sized home. It was in my eyes a beautiful place. I loved growing up there until I was in my teenage years and, then it became an albatross of miles that would prevent me from being with my friends whenever I wanted. There were so many good things about being out in the woods and not available all of the time. I had many many hours to just think and be still. I look back at that time with envy and I find myself trying to replicate it even now. There is something very profoundly wild and freeing in being alone. On the walls of my mom and dad’s bedroom, the wall paper that my Godmother had hung remained for a good deal of my life, it was an explosion of huge pink roses on a white background covering 12 foot walls. I remember so many memories, both good and bad of being in that room surrounded by these roses. They became a part of me that will often bubble up in my work. It is odd how insignificant things will emerge from your memory, and become so important to you as you grow older. It brings new meaning to the phrases, “if walls could talk” and “stop and smell the roses”. Below are the images of the paintings that have been given life through the wall paper roses of my youth.

Ring Around the Rosy

60x48x2

acrylic on canvas

Weight of Balance PaperRoses

oil on wood

38x38x2

Melodic Roses

36x36x1.5

Thank you for your time and I hope in some way this blog will give you insight into my work. I feel very blessed to have the platform to share and the love of paint.

I wish everyone a warm and joyous Thanksgiving surrounded by family and friends. I for one am always so very thankful. Please remember to check out my website, I add new work as it is finished and available. https://cathyhegman.com

Take care,

Cathy Hegman

All content and images that appear in this blog are copyright protected and owned solely by Cathy Hegman. Please do not replicate or use the content or images in any form without the artist’s written permission.

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Rising Water the Flooding of Studio B

March madness is everywhere on television, here the river is rising daily, Studio B succumbed to the muddy waters three days ago. My life is now a constant check of river gauges up and down stream from my home. The sound of sump pumps sucking and spewing all at once seems to drown out any birds or signs of spring. Life is full of the unexpected; but this flood like many others is a man made flood. The gate/ pump systems were installed to keep us from flooding when the Yazoo river is high, it would have worked really well except they never installed the pumps only the gates, making us a virtual bowl to retain any water that is coming downstream. Many years have passed and every time it comes up some bureaucrat from some distant state or the EPA shoot it down saying that we are not populated enough to save. The EPA says it will harm the wildlife to pump the water out when it floods, they are wrong, plain and simple the proposed pumps were designed to only pump out to a certain level which would only keep the homes and most of the farmland dry, the wetlands here would remain very wet. If anyone would ever come here and see the degradation the last few years have had on wildlife they would change their thinking and strategy on the pumps.

As always my work is mirroring my life. The rising waters have invaded my daily life, my sleep, and my paintings. I find when I paint, I enter another world that is only tinged with my life experiences, they come in and out of my work weaving it like a fabric that somehow covers me,although it insulates and simultaneously smothers me. I find it such an enigma, this is what keeps me working everyday and dreaming of working every night.

Before the flood I painted LongBoats Peaceful Journey, I had no idea this was coming or that Frank and I would save a deer’s life during this trying time. I will remember that day till I die. It was a gift in the midst of this catastrophe.

LongBoats Peaceful Journey Cathy Hegman 52 x 42 acrylic on canvas

Later as the flooding waters have risen, I have checked river gauges several times a day only to see the rising persists for us. I feel somewhat helpless against the water but not helpless on how I go from here. I know that as in art every stroke is a problem that has to be dealt with in the next stroke so I will face each heartache with thoughts of rebuilding and repairing the damage to make it even stronger and better. In this latest piece I am working on, I chose the largest canvas I had here, to express the enormity of this flood and what it has done to daily life here. The figure is above the flood, as I hope to keep myself.


WaterMarks Checking level Cathy Hegman 66 x 46 acrylic on canvas

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope it is in some way helpful to you on your journey. I wish to send peace and love to everyone. A very special thank you to everyone that has been so supportive of my art. I also want to thank everyone that is praying for all of us in this flooded area, as well as everyone in the other flooded areas of our country. I don’t think I have ever realized when I prayed for others how much they truly feel it, it has given me great strength and a better attitude to face this today and in the days to come.

Take care,

Cathy Hegman


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Pink Pearls and Paper Fish

Fall has begun, yet it is hiding behind the lingering heat of summer.  The weather is as turbulent as spring and I find my thoughts in constant prayer for those in harms way.  There is something both terrifying and mystifying about disastrous weather, we can truly see how helpless we as people are in the face of hurricane, tornado, or flood. Here in my studio, I am still at work trying to busy my mind and focus on something beautiful in order  to keep my heart from constantly worrying about my children in the path of the hurricane.  I have faith God will keep them safe, but my mother’s heart still wants to go and make them come home with me.

The latest piece was just finished up this week.  Pink Pearls and Paper Fish is acrylic on a 60 x 45 inch cradled wood panel.   This did not start out to be a watery painting but somehow in the midst of all of the hurricanes and rains it just morphed.  When I am asked what I paint I always answer, I paint my life.  This is my life right now, weather has always guided my family as farmers, but on occasion it stops us in our tracks and reminds us who is truly in charge in this world.

Prayers for all in harms way and their families who are waiting and watching from far away places.

PinkPearls and PaperFish__2018_acrylic on wood_60x45_copyrightCathyHegmansmallwm (1 of 1)

 

As always thank you for reading my blog.  I appreciate your time!

 

Take care

Cathy Hegman

 

All content and images that appear in this blog are copyright protected and owned solely by Cathy Hegman. Please do not replicate or use the content or images in any form without the artist’s written permission.

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Homemakers….

It is beginning to heat up and summer is in the wind.  I feel the oppressing dread of humidity and heat mixed together with torrid rain storms and tornadoes on the horizon.  Spring is both glorious and petrifying in the South, and her people know no other way of life.  We rarely enjoy a  simple mild rain here, it is most often heralded with loud screeching tornado alarms , the hammering of the giant anvils in the sky, and a light show that would put any other pyrotechnics to shame.

I am coming off of the artistic high of a week of Mississippi Art Colony, it is my drug of choice.  I indulge twice a year and leave with more inspiration and gratitude than can be measured. Around 40 or so artists of all mediums gather in the backwoods of Utica, Ms. to spend a week of art, design and a familial camaraderie that cannot be described in words.  Art is competitive by nature, but among this group the competition is so laced with love, that it loses its sharp edge in the sharing of ideas and processes.  It is a true gift and my addiction has been for a brief 12 years and I hope it never ends.

Back in the studio I am working on a series that has been on my mind for several months. It is odd how series begin for me, they are always centered on some experience in life and this is no different. I was reading the obituaries in  our small town paper, when I noticed how gloriously written some were and how brief and succinct others were in the paper.  I was taken by how some people accomplished so many things; and how in depth the family chose to portray it, often I think they might have even glorified it beyond what it actually might have been.   There was one little obit about a lady, it appeared between two well written tombs of accomplishments of two other people that had also passed on to glory.  My thought was how short and seemingly insignificant this little lady’s life had been, it read she was a wonderful person and a homemaker.  That was it, she was survived by very few people; but what caught my eye was that she was a homemaker.  In my mind I thought how absolutely important that job is, and how little space it garnered in the obituary.  A homemaker is essential in life’s journey not for the person themselves, but for everyone they nurture.  A home is a place to be born, live, leave, come home to, and sometimes die.  It is often not realized but to be the homemaker, you often have to sacrifice a life of accomplishments in order to provide for others.  It is with this thought about how little credence is given to probably the most important and self sacrificing job there is in life for any man or woman, that this series began. I am filling each painting with loads of symbolism and incorporating many of the my previous series into them in varying ways.  The main focus is to not rush these; as they evolve daily and they seem to get richer and richer the longer I work them, much like a homemaker’s job, it is a constant creating and repairing process and no one really knows how much goes into it.

homemakersPink

Homemaker: Pink Palaces

by Cathy Hegman acrylic on canvas on wood  50 x 40 by 2 inches

Homemaker Blues

Homemaker Blues

by Cathy Hegman acrylic on canvas on wood   50 x 40 x 2 inches

 

I have completed three paintings and have five more in varying stages of progression.

 

As always thank you for reading my blog.  I appreciate your time!

 

Take care

Cathy Hegman

 

All content and images that appear in this blog are copyright protected and owned solely by Cathy Hegman. Please do not replicate or use the content or images in any form without the artist’s written permission.

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Ophelia Lilting Lilies

I thought I would start the year out with a reminder to myself to really study work before it leaves the studio. I painted several pieces that are centered on my thoughts about Ophelia from William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet.  My goal was to work through the emotional bonds between Ophelia, her father, her family, and Hamlet and how these emotions must have been stretched and frayed and finally torn apart in this story. I as a daughter, can truly resonate with Ophelia as the father/ daughter bond is never more strong and never more fragile than when the daughter falls in love with someone for the first time.  All of this to say in this piece, I am thinking of how Ophelia must have felt as she began to drown.  The clenched fists emote not only the last mortal minutes, the fight to live, but the frustration of the knowledge of how no one can truly know your heart and understand you or vice versa.

This is painted with acrylics on a primed 48 x 36 x 2 inch deep panel.  I paint in layers. I started working in layers years ago and have never been able to leave this process. I firmly believe it leaves open the possibility of change at any time which I find consoling as I work. It also allows me to create color that otherwise I might never have found by mixing on a palette; as it allows through translucency the development of color that is both transparent and solid at the same time giving the illusion of dimensional space in the color as well as interesting tints and shades of color not found in ready made tubes.

I worked on this piece late last fall and had it up in my studio for a couple of months after I thought I was finished with it..but something never felt complete in the painting to me.  I just kept working on other paintings with it standing in the perimeter of the studio, and on occasion  I would put it on my easel and look at it.  I would think about it and then put it back around the edge of the room.  I found myself referring to things in this painting while working on other paintings. I would often flip it upside down, or on its side just to remove the content from it when I would glance at it. This painting although incomplete, was a an influential part of the next several pieces I worked on.  I found this rather surprising but a very welcome surprise and I highly recommend doing this with your work.  Here is how it sat for probably 8 weeks or more…Ophelia Lilting Lilies_2017_48x36_acrylic on wood_copyright Cathy Hegman smalwml (1 of 1)

Ophelia Lilting Lilies  stage one...

There was something very bold and colorful that I loved about it, it also had so much of the symbolism that I use in my work and that linked it solidly to my past work and to me.  It had all the makings of being a finished painting but somehow I felt it missed the mark.  It had the emotional charge I wanted it to have but it lacked unity in my mind.

After weeks of staring at this piece I finally put it up on the easel again, and after about and hour of putzing around in the studio on housekeeping chores, I began to work back into the painting.  I felt a relief in the beginning again on this painting, it was not going to be a paint out; but rather a finessing of sort and that alleviated a good bit of pressure. I determined over the course of all the gazing, glancing and looking that what I needed to do was to work at the edges and values.  I moved them back and forth until I felt as if there was no obvious delineation between a  foreground and background, I wanted this piece to be an otherworldly piece, something new. I wanted  the surface to appear textural while also being quite flat.  Here is how it ended up, I am fairly happy with it now; but again, it will sit in the periphery for a while before I decide to send it out into the world.

Ophelia Lilting Lilies_2018-_48x36x2_acrylic on panel_copyright Cathy Hegman smallwm (1 of 1)

Ophelia Lilting Lilies by Cathy Hegman

 

Happy 2018 to everyone! I am grateful to you for taking the time to read my blog and it is my greatest wish that it inspires you and encourages you to be persistent and unwavering in your work.  I have yet to find the secret of painting, but I have had  a large number of years searching and struggling to find it, and perhaps that might be  real secret after all!

 

Take care,

Cathy Hegman

 

All content and images  in this blog are copyright protected and owned solely by Cathy Hegman. Please do not replicate or use the content or images without the artist’s permission.

 

Posted in acrylic, americanwatercolorsociety, art, Art right outside my back door. The Big Sunflower River, Bennet Galleries, canvas, CarolRobinsonGallery, cathyhegman, female, figurative, figure, fine art, FischerGalleries, M2Gallery, NationalWatercolorSociety, painting, process, TewGalleries, Uncategorized, Watson MacCrae Gallery | 2 Comments

Unrequited love…

What is it that drives you to get up and face the day?  Last night I lay awake most of the night thinking about paintings and what I am seeking to find in the pigment and canvas.  I am constantly searching, painting, wiping off, thinking, painting, wiping off again, and thinking more.  I am looking for the things that ravage my mind at night, and  claw and kick to find their way on to the canvas in the light of day. Part of me knows what they are and another part does not.  The feeling of inadequate placement, ability, knowledge keep me humble and constantly falling so close to the edge I feel the depths.  So I get up every day and wander with an aimless surety that the day will bring something new and wonderful.

I took dancing as a child and loved it; although I was clumsy and not at all graceful.  I watched those that were with an innocence bereft of  jealousy; just  pure joy at seeing them move through the dances so smoothly, while all I could do was try to calculate my next move.  My dance instructor told me over and over to stop thinking and just dance.  I never knew what she meant until I got older, it was actually really good advice. I loved the costumes we got to wear, especially the tutus.  I loved the layers of satin edged tulle that bounced and moved so easily .  I keep returning to tutus in my artwork.  There is something hidden in the image of a tutu that is a mystery to me even today.

Here are two of the tutu paintings…they are different yet similar..still the same single figure with a tutu that belies the  singleness and stillness of the figure…one day I will paint one that tells me my tutu days are done; but for now…I keep struggling with the balance between the tutu and the figure.

Morning White Tutu 2017_40x40_acrylic_copyright Cathy Hegman_smallwm-1

Morning White TuTu 40 x 40 Acrylic on canvas by Cathy Hegman

Red Tutu

Little Red Tutu oil  24 x 20 by Cathy Hegman

 

 Thank you for reading my blog!

Take care,

Cathy Hegman

 

Copyright © 2017

Copyright © 2017 Cathy Hegman All rights reserved.

All materials both written and photographed and posted on this site are subject to copyrights owned by Cathy Hegman. Any reproduction, retransmissions, or republication of all or part of any document found on this site is expressly prohibited, unless Cathy Hegman has explicitly granted its prior written consent to so reproduce, retransmit, or republish the material. All other rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

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Looking up…thinking deeply

Constellating Cancer, is the latest in the constellations series that are filling my studio in this hope filled new year.  This particular series at first began mainly as a way to use the figure with animal figures;but as with most of my series,they turn into something else all together by the time I get into them.  I have always been intrigued by the night sky and I am one to stay up all night to watch meteor showers or see a star come closer to the earth.  The heavens are amazing and looking up lets me know just how very small I am.  

This series has given me an excuse to really think about the constellations and how throughout history man has relied and used them to guide him.  I am now a part of that legacy as they constellations are guiding me through this group of paintings.  Cancer is for me a very terrifying word but somehow the constellation cancer is not so threatening.  When I am working on a series such as this one I try to find out everything I can about the subject. I have found the myths surrounding the constellations to be very interesting.

Technically, this painting is acrylic on cradled board.  It is layered with pigment and gels giving it both tactile and visual texture.  I have sanded it down in places and added more layers to give the shapes broken edges that I believe softens the values giving it an atmosphere as well as an interesting surface. Embedded in each of these constellation series I have drawn the diagram of the constellation in the layers, and as with most layers they are covered and uncovered in an effort to mimic a star as it twinkles brightly and dimly in the night sky.

constellating-cancer_acrylic_40-x-30_2017_copyright-cathy-hegman-detail-smallwm-1

Constellating Cancer detail copyright cathy Hegman

 

 

 

constellating-cancer_40-x-30_acyrlic-on-panel_2017_copyright-cathyhegman-smawmll-1

Constellating Cancer by Cathy Hegman 40 x 30 acrylic on panel

 Thank you for reading my blog!

Take care,

Cathy Hegman

 

Copyright © 2017

Copyright © 2017 Cathy Hegman All rights reserved.

All materials both written and photographed and posted on this site are subject to copyrights owned by Cathy Hegman. Any reproduction, retransmissions, or republication of all or part of any document found on this site is expressly prohibited, unless Cathy Hegman has explicitly granted its prior written consent to so reproduce, retransmit, or republish the material. All other rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Constellating Cancer by Cathy Hegman 40 x 30 acrylic on panel

Posted in acrylic, art, Art right outside my back door. The Big Sunflower River, canvas, CarolRobinsonGallery, cathyhegman, drawing, female, figurative, figure, fine art, FischerGalleries, painting, process, TewGalleries, Uncategorized | Leave a comment