Cathy Nichols — When I was younger, I thought that I would be an English Professor. Then I fell in love with a painting. I’d been in love before, but never with something so colorful, so obscure yet rife with promise. It was abstract, yet figurative. There was an animal shape rising up, suspended by a red, heart-shaped balloon against a dark, moody background. On the bottom was a faint, yet discernible trace of glitter. Glitter. This was a love-letter. And ever since reading it, I’ve been trying to write back.
I don’t know where my ideas come from exactly. Sometimes they emerge fully-formed while I’m sitting in traffic (Maybe this is why there are so many artists in L.A.!). Other times, I gather all of my favorite materials and begin to weave images together with wax, paint, medium and words until something coalesces. Often I make ‘mistakes’ or end up looking at a disaster I’d like to throw out the window. When this happens, I force myself to keep going. I always try to remember the first time I tuned a guitar; the sound was the most confusing right before it suddenly snapped into harmony. This is the same way with paintings. And maybe even with love.
I know that a painting is finished because it seems like the right thing has been spoken -- something I wouldn’t mind sharing with my levitating glittery friend (or with you).
"Con/Text" Series of Paintings
"We are living in a world where the possibility for disconnection grows even as technology brings us closer. If the 20th century was all about the image, today it is text that reigns supreme. Texting to be specific. An endless, abbreviated stream of words exchanged on tiny phone screens at a rapid clip. Today, even emails have become extravagant. Texts float, disembodied, connecting the listeners by the slenderest of consonants. It is with these thoughts in mind that I turned to creating my “Con/Text” series. In these paintings, I have tried to expand one word at a time. Each word has been amplified, pictorialized, and romanticized. And with each highly personalized image, I hope to make the viewer think about the importance not just of text, but context -- and its endless link to the imagination."