Layers and Layers……

Texture has been a theme in my work often to the detriment of the realism and I am quite fine with that, as realism is not my goal with my work. This new series is all about the layering of patterns to create a new texture. I often think of my emotional baggage as layers of my life that build to reveal who I really am in this world. In my work the refraction of that larger thought is found in this new series which for me touches on something from long ago in my life.

My figures have almost always had a heavy headress to carry, and I have somehow felt it was an apt reflection of how I feel about the emotional struggle of everyday life. The heaviness with which we are tasked to balance our lives each and every moment. Memories have a way of gurgling through the everyday and bubbling up like a spring into our minds.In this new series the figures are still balancing their environments but I have felt the need to add more to the figure. This series will be the Big Skirts. All of my work is based on previous work, the evolvement is often perpetuated by a memory or memories. When I was really young I had a habit of loving to lay on the floor and look up at things, the world seemed much more interesting to me. I would often find myself being in everyone’s way and once I tripped Johnny Mae as she was making a pan of gravy. Johnny Mae almost always wore long gathered skirts. We would always tug on her skirt when we wanted her attention. I got burned on my face from the spilled gravy. I remember being rocked in the rocking chair in my mother and dad’s bedroom . It was a strange old coccoon shaped rocking chair that had seen many years of rocking and somehow this chair was always where I remember being comforted. I can vividly remember the big pink and white roses on the wall paper in our old house. Most of my life they climbed those walls and live on my memories. The roses appear in many of my paintings as those very roses and that rocking chair brought comfort to me in a strange way that even now I cannot explain. I am giving the roses credence once again in this painting.

The technical side or the part most people might want to tune out on…

The process of layering patterns in pigments is quite different for oils than acrylics. I have done this for the last 7 or 8 months with my acrylics and wanted to try this with oil. It has been really much slower as my mind wants to keep adding but the oil paint has made me slow it down quite a bit due to the drying time. I think this has been really good for me, it forces me to linger on not only the process but also the painting as a whole and not only this series but also the ones that were before it and the ones to come.

For anyone still reading and somewhat interested in this piece. It is on aluminum composite panel which I sanded and applied 4 layers of gesso sanding between each coat. I am using oil paint,oil paint sticks, walnut oil, dorland’s wax medium and sometimes layering with both dorland’s and gamblin oil medium mixed in the pigment. I am layering patterns so not really any solid layers of pigments being used, after the first intial block in. I use rollers, homemade stencils, patterned rubber stamps, jar lids, cups, anything not nailed down that might create a pattern in paint. The patterning is often blurred with a knife or spatula. I want to get to the chaos and then reign it in just enough to satisfy my soul.

These are all details and when I finish this piece I will post the final painting. Stay tuned!

Detail of the early stages after the concept is worked out I start to add the first ayers of patterns working both in and out of the figure. None of it is significant at this point as it will be layered again and again.
the detail of the layers shows the patterns that meander and come in and out of focus

adding patterns back again
More layers of patterns start to make the distinguishing patterns less recognizable and more enmeshed in the surface giving a richer texture and depth of pigment

Adding more details to the painting such as a butterfly to signify the delicate wispiness of memory

Meanwhile two more are being formed….

Stage one

Stage one
stage two

After a long hiatus from blogging I thought it might be good to start it up again. I listen to podcasts and the other day on one of Joe Rogan’s he mentioned how helpful it was to post a podcast or blog. It hit me that he was right, for most this is quite boring and uneventful but maybe someone out that likes to watch paint dry as much as I do and will glean some nugget of info from this and that will make it worth the time.

Thank you for reading my blog I appreciate your time more than you know. I hope it is helpful and if not maybe just slightly entertaining.

Take care

Cathy Hegman

All artwork and writing on this blog are the property of Cathy Hegman. Please do not copy or distribute it without the written consent of Cathy Hegman.

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Patterning with layers

I have always loved working in layers of paint, it is quite possibly spurned on by my love of the process of painting holding a much higher place than my love of the finish. The subliminal changes that occur in this process are very much akin to life and growth. The layers add and delete and in the process obscure and reveal the painting as they build.

I have had so many artists that I admire that are amazing at the use of collage, their knowledge of placing patterns and shapes into a coherent painting is amazing. . I have always wished I could acquire that skill, but I have never quite been able to get my mind around that process of layering with patterned papers and every time I have tried I always end up painting over the whole collage and simplifying it completely. I achieve good texture but not the patterns I am wanting to get. I mistakenly assumed collage would be the same as layering the paint but it has never been that way for me. I just completely become overwhelmed at possibilities when I deal with patterned papers. I immediately feel the same way I do when I enter a clothing store with everything as separates and it is up to the customer to find what looks best with what, it is overwhelming for me.

I do think pattern adds a dimension to art that not only decorates the immediate surface but also can work to compress the painting by melding the foreground, middle ground and background into one. I lean on values in my work as an artist; but have for many years also loved the flatness of many modern artists’ work. I decided to try to mix the patterns as layers of paint. This is my interpretation of how to blend values and flatness and achieve my long sought after happy medium of them. I have found this pattern layering also works to further obscure the edges in my work and thereby creates a vibration or motion in my paintings, which I find nice. This patterning throughout gives my edges a slight movement that suggests the painting is symbolically breathing and not a still or dead surface.

Here are a few examples of details of my work using this technique to help you understand the intent of this post.

details from Ornithologist Nest by Cathy Hegman 50×50 acrylic on canvas
Details of 5, 6 35x 55 oil by Cathy Hegman

I hope everyone remains safe and healthy. My blog is solely my admission of my struggles in life through my art. I believe life is our greatest teacher and it is no different with art, we learn through our mistakes and discoveries. I try to remember to take time to share with others when I happen upon something that I think might be of help to another artist.

Art has always been for me, a great big Wiki of painting knowledge shared by artists of the past and present through videos, blogs and books. We live in a great age of knowledge.

Take care,

Cathy Hegman

All artwork and writing in this blog is solely the property of Cathy S. Hegman. Please do not reproduce, copy, or use in any form without the permission of Cathy S Hegman. I am generous so just ask me.

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Disciple a follower or student of a teacher, leader, or philosopher.

Farmers are planting the fields and summer is blazing a fiery hot trail across the sky. Warmer weather and growth mark the year with smells of earth and the bluest skies imaginable. The new growth gives me the thoughts of the past year of shut down and introspection. At 63 I find it harder and harder to adapt to new rules, there is something so true about old dogs and new tricks. The one aspect that bothered me the most last year was the shut down of churches last year. There was something very troubling to me about it even though I understood the concept, it still felt alien to me. As the year rolled on, it was like many other things that the shut down magnified, it grew rather than shrank my faith and my understanding of my faith. I became more aware of the fact that my faith was with Jesus and that no matter where I was it was still there, the building was merely a vessel. I was comforted by that feeling last year and decided I wanted to give it credence this year. I started a series aptly named disciples. I have toyed with the thoughts of organized religion and the heaviness that it brings to one’s childlike faith, the rules and regulations that have very little to do with faith sometimes seem to burden down the desires of the faithful, and quite often alienate others. In my work the figures are one with their faith and they carry it wherever they go. It is often difficult and heavy and sometimes small and easy but it is attached to them as they wander on their journey giving them balance. These are the first two pieces.

Disciple oil on canvas by Cathy Hegman available through Fischer Galleries Jackson, Ms
Disciple II oil on aluminum by Cathy Hegman

I strive in my work to maintain a balance in my values, my color and my design. Balance is a key element of my work. Most of my work goes through many changes as it develops, and I am fine with that. My greatest knowledge has been to work through every painting until it speaks to me, no matter how long it takes. I have found my work speaks the loudest when I have lived through the good and the bad in its conception. I hope this blog finds you well and in a good place in your life. I appreciate your time and I hope in some way my work will spark your interest and you will either find some time of reflection or maybe even grab a brush and paint something in your heart.

Take care,

Cathy Hegman

All artwork and writing on this blog are the property of Cathy Hegman. Please do not copy or distribute it without the written consent of Cathy Hegman.

PS; I do so love to watch the painters on Youtube that can completely blow my mind when they paint a stunningly beautiful painting in one video. I want to grow up and be them; but I have found I am just a slow and steady tortoise in the art making and I have okay with that now. Find your method, speed, and purpose in your art and hang with it.

Posted in art, Art right outside my back door. The Big Sunflower River, canvas, CarolRobinsonGallery, cathyhegman, female, figurative, figure, fine art, FischerGalleries, NationalWatercolorSociety, painting, process, TewGalleries, Uncategorized, Watson MacCrae Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Waxing and Waning at the end of 2020

Time is marching on and 2020 is winding down with as much disruption as it began. If angst is the food of the artist then this year we have feasted. My studio life is so constant that I rarely know what day it is any longer. Life has become an endless stream of coffee, music ,paint, and endless hours of thoughts about how much I love this life and watching paint dry.

A year ago in January, I lost my ability to work with hot wax due to the rising river water in my world. The waters came in the night and flooded my studio and all electrical appliances were rendered useless. I had to throw out my hotplates, electric skillets, and griddles. It was sad to see them in the trash after so many years of service in my studio. I also had several unfinished hot wax paintings, so I packed them up and took them to my garage, I could not bear to just trash them at first. Many days I would stare at them wondering if I should just free myself and throw them out, since I no longer had the space to work on them. Perhaps I should march them to the pitch in and move on, but something in my frugal mind kept telling me no. I kept working on other oil paintings in the garage, and dreaming of finding a good space once again so I could work in hot wax without worry. In the heat of the summer I could smell the beeswax wafting from the corner everytime I got near it. I love the sweet smell of the wax and decided to just let them stay in the periperal of my garage space for a while longer.

I was working on a piece in oil and cold wax and wanted to add more texture that would mimic the depth of paint I could achieve with hot wax, then I remembered I could use cold wax over hot wax. After all wax is nothing but a medium for the oil. The main key is to not heat the cold wax on top of the hot wax in a closed space as it will give off some pretty strong fumes. I had learned about the ability of working in cold wax over hot wax in a workshop with Rebecca Crowell years ago. I had not thought of it until now. It took no time to grab one of the unfinished encaustic paintings and begin to experiment. I was so happy to work on these panels that seemed like little hopeless misfits at this point. And there is literally nothing more freeing than working over a painting that has not been fully finished. The ability to experiment while doing this is one of the best learning experiences available to an artist. It is a great way of shedding skin and growing.

I wanted to share the experience and the incredible surface you can create with this practice.

I completely changed the original unfinished painting in the over painting but it was irrelevant, this was an experiment in seeing how far I could push and pull the surface and I found it became richer and richer with every new layer and like when working in hot wax you could always go back into the surface with light scraping or some form of abrasion giving it a very complex surface. I would note also that the cold wax and oil pigments seem to glide across the surface much like when you run your hand over velvet, it kept begging me to keep working it. It was a great way to reinvigorate the unfinished paintings.

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detail of the surface after applying oil and cold wax to the encaustic surface

These detail shots show the hazy transparency of wax medium as well as the depth of the surface which is actually physical and visual. If you are into surface and texture you might truly enjoy this mode of painting.

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another detail of the abrading of the surface…digging slightly into the dark

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some of the texture marks that were in the original piece are working rather nicely in the new painting, these little unplanned gems give the surface a past which gives a nice blend of mystery to some of the mark making
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more surface texture..
Longboats Dry Docked by Cathy Hegman

I hope in some way this blog post will be of some help to someone in their studio. I am purposely posting less and less on the social media platforms due to the changes in the Terms of Service. I think the safest space maybe the blogosphere these days.

Thank you for taking the time to read and share your time with me. I hope to be blogging a lot more in the coming year. I look forward to sharing my work and thoughts with you.

I wish every a Merry Christmas! Happiest of Holidays! May 2021 bring us all good health and peace!

Take care

Cathy Hegman

All artwork and writing on this blog are the property of Cathy Hegman. Please do not copy or distribute it without the written consent of Cathy Hegman.

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The studio is full of new work and new excitement for the 2020 year ahead. Later this month I will be in New York City to be one of the jurors selected to jury the awards for the 153rd American Watercolor International Exhibition. The American Watercolor Society is the oldest watercolor society in America and is a pillar in the watermedia world. I am so excited to see the paintings in person and to have the honor of spending time with the two other jurors at the Salmagundi Club. I am sure it will be a daunting task but I look forward to it! It is my honor and privilege to serve in this capacity.

In March I will have an exhibition of around 20 paintings at the Ohr Okeefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, Mississippi. I have chosen pieces that will give a broad overview of my work and my process. I am very excited to have my work hang in the museum. It is an exciting museum full of history and wonderful art. If you are ever on the beautiful Gulf Coast of Mississippi be sure and visit this innovative and beautiful museum.

Later this year, I will have an exhibition in October, at Tew Galleries. I have been with Tew Galleries for many years and always love have exhibits with them in Atlanta. Tew Galleries has been such an integral part of my art life. Corky, Jules, and Tim have been a great support team for my art and valued friends to me. I am very grateful to them.

Now onto what is happening at present. I am always trying to give myself new tasks to nudge my work in different ways. I paint figuratively and most of the time that demands I use a vertical or square format. I use these two formats to give the figure a powerful feeling which almost always gives the intent that I am desiring in the painting. I was looking over images of paintings in my archives and it dawned on me that I almost never paint anything horizontal any longer. It gave me the impetus to force myself to paint the horizontal format again. I don’t know why I did not start with something a bit smaller but 10 days in on this, I realized it would have been a more wise approach. It has now been a couple of weeks of tweaking small things on the painting and this is the time I need to stop and live with it for a while and make sure it is finished . I believe even in this horizontal format the figure has the quiet and soft strength that I wanted it to have. I think I might integrate more horizontal formats into my work in the future. It is good to go back and look through your older work, you learn a good bit about yourself when you do.

Contemplation 48x60x2 acrylic on canvas

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.

.Please remember to check out my website, I add new work as it is finished and available.

Take care,

Cathy Hegman

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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


acrylic on canvas

Weight of Balance PaperRoses

oil on wood


Melodic Roses


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.

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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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.


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.

Posted in acrylic, americanwatercolorsociety, art, Art right outside my back door. The Big Sunflower River, Bennet Galleries, canvas, CarolRobinsonGallery, cathyhegman, drawing, female, figurative, figure, fine art, FischerGalleries, NationalWatercolorSociety, painting, process, TewGalleries, Uncategorized, Watson MacCrae Gallery | 4 Comments

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


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