Artist Spotlight

Artist: Cathy Shepherd

December 2012

From the artist: Most painters are drawn to color, but I’ve always been drawn to light. Both are elemental and one supports the other. While my list of favorite colors approaches double-digits, I still find it’s the effect of light that makes me sit down to confront the blank canvas.

I don’t put together a composition so much as I come upon it. More and more, I’m walking through a room or driving down a street when I am waylaid by something spectacular in the midst of ordinary. I like those bits of common everyday that talk about the whole life experience.

This year, my resolution was to forget all the ways I know how to paint after all these years of watching art and to just paint. There is a line from that great cinematic triumph, “Fame”, when a teacher asks a student “how did you sing before, when it was just fun?”. Well, these are the paintings I painted after I’d assimilated my study with world-class painters and hours spent in museums and galleries. I’m making the paintings I like to look at.

Cathy Shepherd has had extraordinary teachers, among them Sidney Goodman and Will Barnet at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Mary Ann Currier at Louisville School of Art, and with Lennart Anderson and Philip Pearlstein at Brooklyn College. But it all began with Children’s Free Art Classes in Louisville, Kentucky. While she works in many media, her main focus has always been painting and drawing from life. Shepherd is the recipient of the NEA Artists-in-Schools Grant, the KAC Al Smith Fellowship Award, the Pi Beta Phi Scholarship Award and the Rude Osolnik Study Grant. Her work is in private, public and corporate collections around the world.

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