Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Learning More About COCA Artist Catherine McCauley

Catherine McCauley is a professional artist whose work focuses on contemporary abstract encaustic painting. She shares a studio with Maggie and Tanoa, her two yellow labrador retrievers.

Keep reading to learn more and see Catherine's work.

What is your primary medium and process? 
My primary medium is encaustic which literally means "to fuse" or to "burn in".  It is an ancient process dating back to the Egyptians and Greeks in which dry oil pigment is suspended in a medium of molten beeswax and damar resin crystals. The medium is heated on a griddle at 220 degrees F and quickly applied to a rigid surface (I use wood panels). The wax is then manipulated with heat - a heatgun, torch or a particular type of iron - building up the surface and then using tools to carve, incise or scrape back into the wax. 
How long have you been an artist? When did you begin working in encaustic?
I was first introduced to the encaustic method of painting in 2001 and have worked exclusively with the medium since that time.  Prior to painting with encaustics, I used oil paints and acrylics, beginning my painting career at Sonoma State University in 1992.  Prior to that I began my love of art beginning in a ceramics class in 1970 followed by experimentation with drawing, clay, textiles (I still have my LeClerc floor loom from the 70's).  
How would you describe your style?
My painting style since using encaustics has been abstract.  The medium lends itself to using areas of color and/or texture, often focusing on surface design rather than subject. 
I find inspiration in nature.  My husband and I enjoy camping and it is often on our outdoor trips that I find inspiration.  I live in the hills in Sonoma County and the surrounding landscape inspires me along with visits to or memories of the ocean.
What artists most inspire you? 
Some of my favorite artists are Richard Diebenkorn, Nathan Oliveira, Joan Brown, Manuel Neri, and Antoni Tapies.  
What is your favorite part of being an artist?
My favorite part of being an artist:  there are so many favorite parts!  I love to create without using words.  I love color, surface, mystery, meeting with other artists who speak the same language a I speak.  Art is in my heart, in my soul.  It is a necessity for me to create.  I cannot image my life without it.
Check out Catherine's work and learn more about her encaustic workshops at http://www.catherinemccauley.net.