Catherine Roberts has been painting for nearly 20 years from her Wellington studio and has exhibited in galleries around New Zealand. Robert’s work is the result of an intuitive dialogue, between artist and canvas, with no set intentions, but with a purpose to captivate the viewer to carry on the conversation. Driven to find balance, using colour, texture and contrast to form a harmonious rhythm, eventually creating intangible and obscure realms.
The artist works with large scale mixed media canvases, approaching each painting with an acceptance of serendipity; with areas of paint move unhindered and colours are given reign to compose themselves. Roberts says, ”Nothing about my work is perfect. It is a natural process, lead by a feeling of balance, resulting in an organic final piece. From the applied texture to the frames, all put together with the same hands... If my art were a couch, you’d feel comfortable about putting your feet up.”
Over the last two decades, the journey of Robert’s art has helped her find the confidence to dispel self-placed inhibitions. She says, ”I am not confidently spoken in life, but it seems I found my voice through my work.”
- Who and what inspires your artwork?
Most of my inspiration comes from life, things around me and nature. I see little moments in everyday life, and have a great appreciation for life imitating art.
I'm greatly affected by aesthetics. A certain coloured "something" sitting beautifully next to another, creating beautiful colour combinations. Someone walking past a turquoise wall, wearing a lovely yellow top will make me smile, as will a lovely lush green fern in front of a rusty orange gate. I guess you could say colour inspires me.
- What do you think it is about your work that immediately captures the hearts of collectors?
Painting abstracts leaves a lot of interpretation open to viewer. I hope collectors and anyone viewing my work, can have a moment of escapism. Let their mind wander into my work. My work is the result of an intuitive dialogue, between artist and canvas, with no set intentions, but with a purpose to captivate the viewer, to carry on the conversation.
- Tell us more about your creative process?
I use mixed media to create texture, and form. I then use many layers of acrylic paints and washes to create colour combinations, and landscapes. Wiping away top layers of paint, revealing different colours below creates interesting and unexpected moments in the painting. I just keep going until the piece feels balanced. The final step is a layer of resin, making the colours jump and separate, giving vibrancy and depth to the finished piece. I prefer an organic looking piece of work, not to look too perfect, but to look "made with these hands".
- Can you tell us about your success as an artist and your biggest career highlight to date
I have painted and created forever. It is my language. But, it was someone else that said it was time to share the love and sell my work. This was about 20 years ago after returning from England. It has been a "slowly but surely" career so far. But winning the "Signature Piece" Award at the NZ Art Show after being a finalist twice before was likely a big turning point for me in 2014. Voted by over 10k attendees of the event. Not just the attention it brought to me, but the confidence it gave me knowing that quite a lot of people like my work.
- What can we expect to see in this upcoming exhibition?
This exhibition explores the idea of taking different paths in life "What if I had done things differently, made different choices, and taken a different path?".
Imagine being able to take a glimpse at those other lives, or worlds you may have lived. Each painting is it's own world, or path taken. I have used some exciting colours, I think the viewers will find their own little moments in these paintings. Hopefully, they will be pulled in, and enjoy unravelling each piece.