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ARTIST STATEMENT: Cathy Locke

Locke has been greatly influenced by Russian artists such as Mikhail Vrubel and Nicolai Fechin. Investigating the work of the Leningrad School and Russian Symbolist painters has opened her up to exploring all kinds of creative ideas and techniques. She has written a book on Russian art that is awaiting publication.


ARTIST STATEMENT

Inspiration

I have been exploring the female figure’s movement and transitions through a color field for a number of years now. I am working with the concept of multi-dimensional space because it represents the way we move through life. On a daily basis, our species is evolving as we move in and out of a variety of environments and situations. We find ourselves in a state of constant duality, attempting to maintain symmetry within our interchanging movements. In order to express this concept, I purposely use one person in similar poses, to look at the interaction of movement and negative space. Detailed representation is purposely placed in an abstract field upon which the figure is abstracted within that field.


Design Strategy

I use composition, shape, and color to create movement in my work. My compositions deal with multiple figures grouped in such a way to create rhythm, tension, and equipoise. Within the composition, I simplify form to various degrees moving toward abstraction. Usually, I mix complementary colors to create a muted color for the background. These background fields are made up of several muted colors of various degrees of warm and cool. In my painting Red Ribbons, I used a warm muted color behind the three figures on the left to unite them. In areas where I want to create a more active vibration, I increase the hue of the color.


ARTIST BIOGRAPHY

Cathy Locke holds a BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, and an MFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where she currently teaches figurative courses for the graduate department. She has received accolades for her work from numerous organizations, including the Pastel Society of America and the Pastel Journal. She has also received two Pastel 100 Awards, placing her as one of the top 100 pastelists in the world. Her work is collected by civic institutions, universities, and private patrons across the United States, Canada, and Europe.


Locke has been greatly influenced by Russian artists such as Mikhail Vrubel and Nicolai Fechin. Investigating the work of the Leningrad School and Russian Symbolist painters has opened her up to exploring all kinds of creative ideas and techniques. She has written a book on Russian art that is awaiting publication.


Locke sees writing as an important part of her art practice. Her work has been published by Palgrave Macmillan, the Military History Quarterly, and American Arts Quarterly, and she is editor-in-chief of Musings-on-art.org.

Go Figure! is on view now through December 6 in the Nichols Gallery. This striking exhibition will expand your definition of figurative art.

We thank our sponsors- The Honeywell Charitable Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, Washington State Arts Commission, Town of Friday Harbor, San Juan Island Community Foundation, Anonymous, Orcas Island Community Foundation, Printonyx, Harbor Rental, Browne’s Home Center, Tucker House, Friday Harbor Grand, and Friday Harbor House.

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