Monday, March 21, 2011

in the atelier…with cathie joy young

In the ate­lier today is painter Cathie Joy Young, whose work first came to my atten­tion via Twit­ter. In perus­ing her port­fo­lio online, I found I really had to stop and study each piece to try and inter­pret the mean­ing. The sto­ries are not under­stood at first glance. It's intrigu­ing that Cathie her­self feels the sto­ries are not hers, but rather bor­rowed.  The col­ors are rich, the abstract fig­ures always con­vey­ing emo­tion. With the artist as the con­duit for these visions, the viewer is invited to dive in and explore.

In her own words, here is Cathie Joy Young:

"Shall the Meek?" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

"Shall the Meek?" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

1)   What path led you to your life as an artist?

My Dad was a painter. When my brother and I were very young both par­ents encour­aged us to draw and later to paint. My Dad painted in oils and his stu­dio was in our home so I was around it all the time.

When I was about 12 my Dad started show­ing my work along­side his own at casual out­door art shows. It was all rep­re­sen­ta­tional work. I sold occa­sion­ally and that was inspir­ing. When I would get too cre­ative – as in work from my imag­i­na­tion instead of from ref­er­ence it was frowned upon because I was actu­ally mak­ing good pocket money doing water color roses and pen and ink horses. I did not take art classes in high school and was not active with art again until I decided to apply to art school. I fig­ured I needed to go to col­lege and I really did not want to have to deal with required under­grad­u­ate classes like math and sci­ence so I thought  a pri­vate art col­lege was the way to go. I got accepted to the Pacific NW Col­lege of Art in Port­land, OR, and intended on major­ing in Graphic Design. Half way through my first year I changed my major to paint­ing. After grad­u­a­tion I worked in restau­rants and painted at home and would show occa­sion­ally. Even­tu­ally I got art-related jobs so that I could make a liv­ing that way. I worked at a stag­ing and prop com­pany called Stage Right. I free-lanced at dec­o­ra­tive paint­ing jobs and then I con­tracted to McMe­namin’s and did mural work in their var­i­ous hotels, the­aters and pubs.  After leav­ing that job there were a few years when I did not paint at all, and then in 2005 I started all over again in a com­pletely dif­fer­ent way.

Since then I’ve been show­ing my work at var­i­ous gal­leries and shows in the US and sell­ing my work inter­na­tion­ally online.

"Inside Miracle" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

"Inside Mir­a­cle" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

2)   Please describe three sources of inspi­ra­tion for your art.

My inspi­ra­tion comes from painters I came across while I was in art school years ago and from authors I read going back as far as child­hood. The visual artists I most admire are Odil­lon Redon, Marc Cha­gall, Ivan Gen­er­alic, El Greco, and many of the Expres­sion­ists as well as medieval painters. The writ­ers who have helped shape the way I think are Her­mann Hesse, Aldous Hux­ley, John Galswor­thy, Thomas Hardy, Doris Less­ing, Tove Jans­son, and George McDon­ald. Besides the listed artists and writ­ers I am also inspired by the act of paint­ing. What I mean by this is that the very action of pro­duc­ing inter­est­ing imagery keeps me going.

"Egyptian Faience" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

"Egypt­ian Faïence" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

3)   What was the last item you brought home from a trip? Where did you go, and why that item?

I was recently in Hawaii and I brought home shells, coral, and inter­est­ing small rocks that I found at the beach. I really like rocks and shells and I always try to bring home a rock from wher­ever I go. I stayed away from bring­ing home a lava rock though because my Hawai­ian friend told me I would be cursed if I did. I don’t like to take chances with curses!

"Unexpected Clues" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

"Unex­pected Clues" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

4)   Please fill in the blank: If I was not an artist, I’d be:

A writer of books.

"Opening Sky" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

"Open­ing Sky" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

5)   What advice do you have for peo­ple who are afraid to buy art?

The pur­chase of Art has a dif­fer­ent and more endur­ing value than say the lat­est Iphone. The lat­ter will be out­dated in a few months and need to be replaced in a cou­ple of years. A piece of art is age­less and time­less and if you really love it, you always will.

"Astro Coo" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

"Astro Coo" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

I hope you've enjoyed get­ting to know Cathie a lit­tle bet­ter! Please visit her web­site to see more of her work. You can also email her at catjoy@cathiejoyyoung.com or shop online here. Please leave a note and let me know what you think of these fas­ci­nat­ing pieces!

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  1. KMS says:

    Cindy, you have once again brought to us a won­der­ful artist and engag­ing con­ver­sa­tion. Cathie Joy Young's work is deep and vibrant, I love it! I had to drag myself away from her web­site for fear I would never leave!

  2. kathe fraga says:

    Beau­ti­ful work! It was a plea­sure to get to know Cathie better!

  3. JACK BRUMMET says:

    Thank you for for the inter­view and show­ing us more of this fas­ci­nat­ing artist's work.

  4. Cathie Joy and I actu­ally went to high school together in Pueblo, Col­orado. She is a gen­tle spirit and an AMAZING tal­ent! Thank you for high­light­ing my friend!

    xo,
    Car­rie Chavez Hansen
    http://www.SnuggeryStyle.com

  5. cjy says:

    Wow :) thanks you guys.

  6. Glenn says:

    We have one of her paint­ings in our home. I love the colours and find­ing some­thing new in it all the time. A mural on one of the walls would be a real lux­ury. I wouldn't need a TV then

  7. I really enjoyed read­ing about Cathy Joy Young–I'm a big fan of her work and it's nice to learn a lit­tle more about her process and the things that influ­ence her. Thanks!

  8. Cynthia says:

    Thank you Cathie for indulging my need to learn more about artists and their process! You clearly have many fans, con­grats!! :-)

  9. Kipik says:

    Cathie: you are so tal­ented! I feel you have fully blos­somed as an artist and any­one who can afford your beau­ti­full works of art would be wise to pur­chase them now before they become any more popular.

    Thank you "The Exu­ber­ent Home" for this great inter­view and allow­ing us to know Cathie better!!!