On Watercolor: Artist Cathy Cullis

Redefine

Who: Artist Cathy Cullis
Redefine: "wet-in-wet painting technique"

"My gouache and watercolor paintings are created using a good amount of improvisation and chance. For this I often employ a wet-in-wet painting technique, something that feels sometimes mischievous, other times a little magical. I may lay a wash of color on to the heavy paper (it's always best to use a heavy, good quality paper) and then dab, drop, drag another layer over the still wet pool of delicate color. Sometimes I can see, in an instance, things emerging - often faces, forms. I will allow the paint to dry a little and perhaps add again more wet, water, paint."

Reading about Cathy's technique is exhilarating in itself. I can't imagine how it must feel to actually execute. The fact that she enjoys a little chaos makes her not only brave, but true to her art. She acknowledges her medium and even lets it take the wheel every once in a while.

Cathy says:

"What I am aiming toward is an ethereal feel, a chance encounter. I am not so interested in fixed meanings, representations.
Sometimes I know I may ruin an entire painting by adding just one drop of water. But I will take a risk. Often I will wet the paper and then press a tissue into the wetness, to lift some of the paint and create another illusion. If I have painted an area too heavily, I will wet it and then lift, to see what I can see.
When I sit down to paint I seldom know what or who I am going to find. It's this that keeps the process alive for me. Without a little chaos things can become stilted. I think possibly one of the mistakes an artist can make is trying to be the master, without letting the paint lend a little direction. I like to think of each successful painting as a little revelation, something that I can learn from."

Shown above the jump from left to right

1 Wintry Wings Painting, $39.31 from Cathy Cullis
2 Winter Walk Painting, $39.31 from Cathy Cullis
3 Neighborhood Zine, $9.83 from Cathy Cullis
4 Rain or Shine Painting, $14.74 from Cathy Cullis

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About Redefine: Our new column Redefine asks artists to define one term involved in their process. Through this definition, we as buyers will learn a little bit more about the art from conception to realization. We'd like to not only increase awareness of what we are actually purchasing, but also increase appreciation for the process itself, thereby celebrating the handmade lifestyle.

(Images, Cathy Cullis - as linked)