Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Featured Member Interview: Cathy Mitchell

Blog:  http://theenchantedforestspirit.blogspot.com/

What inspires you to create?
Inspiration is so abundant. Colors, textures, light and shadow, nature, music, the written or spoken word, all will motivate me when I least expect it. Looking at the work of artists gives me perspective that energizing and invigorating.

When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you? Art has always played like a song in my mind. When I was small, crayons, bits of yarn, paper, glue, and blunt-nose scissors were my favorite toys. I often played in my Mother’s button tin, sorting endlessly by color, size and shape. I watched my Dad build bookshelves, TV cabinets and repair items. I played with the remnants. The first “assemblage” I made was a bedroom for Barbie from a square bread box my Mother spray painted gold. Accessories were fashioned from cartons, wood blocks and fabric scraps.

If you weren't an artist, what would you be?
It would be amazing to have the attention span to study history and literature. I so admire writers who change perspectives with their words. Sometimes I’ll read something provocative feel the urge to write a bit or decide to study a period in history. That doesn’t last long before I feel the pull towards abstracts like shape and shadow.
What other jobs have you had which have aided you on your artistic path?
I have been so very fortunate to have worked with elementary and preschool kids, summer camp and specialized recreation. These settings allow me to plan and implement arts and crafts instruction although the best inspiration comes from being with children and adults who shine when bursting with creativity and ideas. As well, many years behind a desk in the world of finance led me to realize my mind works in movement and color rather than static black and white and that is ok, too.

At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?
Initially I go to the markers, pens and pencils then onto paper, paints and brushes. And journals; I love to handle and look at journals even if I don’t need one. Exploring techniques that I have not yet tried and poking around in the children’s supply area; to find something fun for my grandson. A visit to the art supply store is energizing for me.

What new technique or art form would you like to learn? Do you have plans to do so?
I would like to learn more about alcohol inks and watercolor. I have played around with both and find the color mingles and dances in much the same way with both mediums. As I spend time with our most talented group of artists here within the CMMAG, I learn so much and find opportunities all about. As I am just breaking into this beautiful world of art making, I tend to practice serendipity and see what happens next.
If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?
Wow, so many adventures to be had. If I knew I wouldn’t fail, I would begin work on a novel or a non-fiction book dealing with cultural history.  Add to that a huge farm where stray and forgotten pets could come and live out their lives, healthy and happy, would be a dream come to life.