I was asked again the other day if I would like to teach a workshop in 2015. I get a momentous thrill every time I am considered, there is the swell of anticipation of sharing with others in the flesh and not online or in a blog. I get really jazzed up thinking about the process, and then the jazz gets all wonky when I try to nail down exactly how I would teach my process; or if that would even interest anyone. The process itself in my mind seems logical and pretty much the same each time; but I know to others it would not appear anything like that. I approach everything with one goal, to find something new. I even do that when I vacuum my house, I rearrange furniture and tabletops each time. I create a new landscape in which to move and exist and it reinvigorates me. I think my art is like that, I have a need to keep things changing and moving to keep the momentum going.
I am always looking for new ways to portray the figure, for me the figure is simply a shape on the plane of a surface, so most, if not all of my figures are not portraits,or a depiction of any person, but more a symbol in my work. I have struggled with putting in, or leaving out features on faces in my work. I have been asked so many times why I choose to paint without identifying features. I think the answer is in the question, I am not trying to paint a particular person, I am after a shape that is easily recognizable as a figure, but not an identified figure. I tend toward shadowy silhouetted shapes that become as integral in the painting as the areas around it, I love the cohesive feel it gives me. I find the moods that I most often choose to express are complacent and introspective, rather quiet times of inner reflection, they seem important to me in this chaotic world. We have to stop and think deeply about our lives and find reflection. I have just begun to meditate, for years I could not quiet my mind for any length of time. I started listening to a brain wave stimulation app on my phone most days, it is called Brainwave A Day, it is free and I really think it has helped me to focus and relax. It uses music that they have engineered to encourage specific brain activity. I really love it.
The technique aspect of my work is found in texture, I simply cannot end a painting without having an ample amount of texture. I am drawn to work that has something that is mysteriously interesting, and texture always fills that need for me. In other artist’s work, I tend to spend many more hours studying works that are filled with texture; than I do work that is pristine and smooth. I think the texture in a way lifts the work into an almost three dimensional quality, and that just feels more real to me. I don’t want a replica of anything; I want something original that I can see as new .
I love all art, but to me this particular textural kind of art speaks most clearly, there is no pretense, no fussiness, just honest emotions smeared and spattered over a canvas and on occasion you can see the marks of frustration over layered yet still present all adding up to a wonderfully complete painting.
detail of Quiet Title figure
Here is where the texture is most important to me. I use texture as a linkage of the figure to the rest of the painting surface. I often paint the figure then re-texture the background and foreground many times before I get to the point of completion. Sometimes I layer over and remove and then layer it again to achieve a rich and harmonious texture full of lines and remnants of lines . The old adage that you have to work to achieve, is never more true than with texture in paintings.
Thank you for reading my blog, I am always grateful.
Cathy Hegman AWS,NWS,MSWS,MOWS, SAA,SW, ISAP
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