Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Q & A With Artist, Cathy Steele

"It's All About The Dress"

The very talented Artist, Cathy Steele was generous enough to answer a few questions that was on our pumpkins--read below and see what is behind the dress!

Q: "It's All About The Dress" is such a unique series. What gave you the inspiration to start a series of dresses?

Growing up, I dreamed of someday opening a small dress shop with one of a kind fashions. As an artist, I decided I could paint those dresses, and they could be anything that I wanted. I began by sketching out dress designs, and then I created “Cally Marie”, my "muse & model". My art teacher had once suggested painting with acrylics on watercolor paper as opposed to canvas, and I thought that would be perfect for this project.

Q. Who inspires you, artistically?

I have always loved Monet and Cheri Blum, but I also love Jackson Pollock, and I can name at least a dozen local artists in New Hampshire who inspire me to push myself to the next level on a daily basis. But I think my biggest influence was my mother. She was never able to go to art school as she had wanted, raising nine children instead. She was an artist, painting in acrylics, in pastels, and sketching. I was always mesmerized at how naturally it came to her. She inspired me to not only become an artist, but to create pieces that mean something both to me as an artist, and to whomever may see or buy them.

Q. There is an innocence to your pieces as well as a strong confidence. Was finding the subject a process of trial & errors or was it something that just happened naturally?

I did quite a few rough sketches of faces, and dresses, and shoes. But, I found designing the dresses to be so much fun, that it did seem effortless. As soon as I drew “Cally Marie” the way that you see her in the series, I knew that was exactly how she should look. From there, everything just seemed to fall into place. I began painting the dress fronts, and drawing the backs of the dresses in ink. I decided to tear the edges of the paper and place both pieces on a simple black background. And, since the front of each dress is painted very simply, I let the back of the dress have a stronger presence with more detail.

Q. The series of 8 you have displayed at KAZA right now, are that of the first series. What plans do you have for the second series; will it remain a framed art or will you take it in another direction?

I am currently working on the first four dresses of my next series. I plan to have” Series Two” completed sometime early this summer, and although it will be similar, each series and every dress will always be unique. I also have a small series of shoe designs drawn in ink that I put in small purse frames. The “Cally Marie Designs” line is something that I plan to continue to focus on, and I think the possibilities for original artistic pieces are limitless.

I hope that others will enjoy “It’s All About the Dress” as much as I enjoyed creating it. My thanks to local artist and teacher Kim Roth who encouraged me to pursue my concept for this series.

-This series is dedicated to my mother “Rene”, who inspired me every day of her life-

Thanks so much Cathy--we are so happy to be able to display your pieces at KAZA!

Cathy Steele Art – Cally Marie Designs

www.cathysteeleart.com www.callymariedesigns.com