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.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

COCA Artists Out and About

It is a busy summer for COCA artists! Check out these upcoming shows with Linda Donohue and Julia Rymer throughout the Bay Area.

Linda Donohue's work will be featured at art festivals throughout July and August, including the Los Altos Art and Wine Fair, the Palo Alto Fine Arts Festival and the Kings Mountain Art Fair. Her work is also on display at UCSF Women's Health Center until the 17th of July.

Visit Linda's website for more information about all her events coming up for the summer!


Julia Rymer's work will be featured in a Summer group exhibition at Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery in Lafayette opening August 2nd and continuing through August 26th. Visit the gallery website for location and information.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Learning More About COCA Artist Michel Misho

Born Michel Schorro in Lausanne, Switzerland, Misho moved to San Francisco at age 25 to become a professional drummer, touring and recording until 1984. Semi-retiring from music, following a US tour & a record release with Housecoat Project, he spent the next 15 years traveling the world teaching and taking photographs.

In 2009 he opened  Misho Gallery in San Francisco. Since then, he has held solo shows with his photographs in San Francisco, Buenos Aires and in his native Switzerland.  His pictures can be seen in the lobby of various buildings in downtown San Francisco, including the public utilities building.
In 2010 Misho expanded the gallery to help promote local abstract art from local artists and beyond. In 2011, he started collaborating with San Francisco artist Johnny Botts. Misho provided his abstract photographs as a background and Johnny painted over them with spaceships, robots, and other fantastical forms, leading to the "Spaced Together " exhibit in May 2012. One of those pieces was featured in the New York Times.

At the beginning of 2012, he expanded one more time to house a group he calls “Photo Nouveau," comprised of artwork that is abstract, cutting edge, and avant-garde— anything but “déjà vu”.

He is a very active member of the San Francisco Bay Area artist community, and also shows work internationally. This September he will work in collaboration with Pichai Poogsasaovapark, a Thai artist featured in a solo show in his gallery. The collaborative work is schedule to show for the month of February 2015 at the Baan Teuk Art Center in Chiang Mai. 

Keep reading to learn more about Misho's process and influences as an artist.

What is your primary medium and process?
My primary medium is photography but I see myself more as a image taker than a photographer. The images I capture are all reminiscent of abstract painting. In some way I extract the artworks that both nature and urban decay provide us and bring it to people attentions. I am fascinated with randomness and antropy. The way the drops lay on the sidewalk when somebody knocks a can of paint. The way a piece of metal rust when exposed to the elements.

Lately my need for challenges pushed me to start paintings. I love working with industrial acrylics. If my photographs are influenced by  abstract expressionist  artist, my paintings have a strong Asian influence. Both in China & Japan painting and calligraphy are often side by side and complement each other. I do love the subtlety and serenity of the old ink wash. Instead of trying to capture an images the painters capture the energy of the objects, the serenity of moment. This is what I do in my paintings. I start with a landscape whose serenity is extracted down to a very minimalistic  primary color. Then I let randomness guide my brushes and the paint.  I let randomness funnel the energy and the emotions of the moment into the canvas.
How long have you been an artist?
I started studing photography at age 14, buying my first SLR camera and learn to develop black & white photographs in my parent kitchen. At 16 I started concentrating on rock and jazz photography. Leaving very close to Montreux and their yearly jazz festival provided many opportunities for my passion. Also, I never stop taking photographs, eventually playing music became more important than capturing it on film and I moved to San Francisco. My new reincarnation as a visual artist started in 2008.
How do you describe your style?
Abstract expressionism with Asian influence.
What inspires you to keep motivated?
More than a inspiration it is a need. The need to keep creating and challenging myself. I do get bored easily. I guess the challenges are what keep me motivated. The challenge to get better at what I do, the challenge to create something new & beautiful. I do want my art to be beautiful. I do feel the pain and the anger than a lot of artists experience but rather that expressing it and chronicle it, I decided I want to fight it with beauty trying to make this world a better place.
What is your favorite part about being an artist?
The constant renewal of emotions.
Who are your favorite artists past or present?
Jimi Hendrix,  Ludwig Van  Beethoven, Richard Deibenkorn, Gerhardt Richter, Barnett Newman.

See more of Misho's art on his website, and stop by his gallery for a visit! Click here for more information, location, and events.