Art, Writing, // March 19, 2021
Cathy Breslaw — ARTIST/WRITER
Interview with artist/writer Cathy Breslaw —
1. Who are you and what do you do?
I am Cathy Breslaw , a contemporary visual artist. I am also an arts writer reviewing museum and gallery exhibitions. I have written for several publications and I have a blog: artfullifebycathy.blogspot.com I also teach Art History at Coastline Community College in Newport Beach,CA.
2. Why art?
I didn’t choose art. Art chose me. As with most “callings”, making art came to me organically. It all started when I was about 5 years old or so. Given some basic crayons, paint and paper I began to draw and paint. My siblings were much older so I spent a lot of time alone and this was my beginning. I never liked “coloring within the lines” as in coloring books. I also recall when I was 7 or 8 receiving paint by number oil paint kits which I also didn’t like painting within the lines. It was just an instinctive feeling that whatever I “created” had to be my own totally. It has always been my “touchstone”, a place to go and a need to “create” something. Similarly I also enjoy cooking and other creative pursuits because I like “being in the moment” and creating. I like the idea that there is no real definition of “art”, it is defined by the maker and the observer.
3. What is your earliest memory of wanting to be an artist?
When I began making art I don’t think I thought about it as a defined category. Being an“artist” is such a broadly used and illusive word. I think I am a “maker”, a “creator” and my mediums happen to be materials that appeal to my sensibilities. Materials change too.
4. What are your favorite subject(s) and media(s)?
I don’t really have a favorite subject per se. I think I have things/places/moments that inspire me or move me to create. Mainly they are ideas and curiosity about the fragility of life, by my natural surroundings, and responses to these ideas. I am drawn to “light”, space, cosmology, the universe and the mystery of the unknown.
5. How do you work and approach your subject?
There is no “system” to how I work or approach it. I think about ideas and work intuitively somewhat though I do plan what kinds of materials I will use. I generally don’t pre-plan or have drawings and then follow up with the actual works. I also do drawings but they are as final as any painting or installation or sculptural work etc.
6. What are your favorite art work(s), artist(s)?
I have many favorites but I would have to say overall I am drawn to an artwork that compels me for some reason. It could be realistic or abstract, a photo or a painting or an installation or a video etc.. It’s difficult to define but an artwork that touches my inner being, inner nature or soul.
7. What are the best responses you have had to your work?
I had an exhibition at the University of Tulsa (OK) and the dance department, saw the exhibition and choreographed a dance with music in response to my work. That was very moving to me. Here is the YouTube link: https://youtu.be/KCbapFUIJ5c
8. What do you like about your work?
I like the fact that I attempt to create something without worrying about how it will be received. I don’t like the idea of making art that “I think” others will like, or measure myself against other artists’ work. I try to create what comes from my own inner sensibility and experience. It’s not that I am trying to be completely “original” – I am trying to make work that is about what is important to me.
9. What advice would you give to other artists?
My advice is to make art about whatever interests you, whatever moves you and choose materials or forms of art that seem to feel comfortable and accessible to you. Make art without judgement and let the creative process evolve. Don’t give up because there may be many “failures” and you never know where those “failures” may lead.
10. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
I don’t think that far ahead, though it is my wish and my expectation that I will have opportunities to share my work with others and the world.
Saatchi Art: https://www.saatchiart.com/account/artworks/558456