Inspired by surroundings


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Artist Cathy Patterson doesn’t have to look very far for inspiration.

“[I] just look at the world around me for the things that seem beautiful,” she said.

Patterson has countless colors in her artwork — her pieces are often filled with bright hues and themes of femininity. Her abstract work is on display at the Chait Galleries, 218 E. Washington St.

“Her art is very subjective and open to the interpretation of the individual,” Chait Galleries owner Benjamin Chait said. “Her work is very well-received. She is very prolific, and she sells well … Her work is well-constructed.”

Patterson described her work as an indirect reflection of the world. Using mixed media such as water colors and pastels, she said, she likes to work wet and let colors bleed into each other.

The painter described her process as layering. She often starts with a wet paper and then works water colors and inks into it. Then she works pastel over the water colors, sometimes even putting pastel over the entire page.

Patterson uses bold color schemes to express certain ideas and themes, and she leans towards corals, pinks, reds, and oranges. However, she still loves every color.

She often brings femininity into her work either by choosing certain colors or conveying different shapes. Rather than using “aggressive male primary colors,” she uses feminine shades that she said aims to express “delicacy.”

“The feeling of it just can overtake you as a sensation of color and texture,” she said.

Patterson has a zeal for her genre of art.

“I love abstract work,” she said. “When I go to the art museum, that’s what I go to look at. It speaks to your senses more than to your verbal thoughts.”

The Lincoln, Neb., native developed a passion for art at a young age. She took every art class she could in middle school, and in 1980, she obtained a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

She began her career creating representational work but later moved to her nonrepresentational art.
“The more loose and free the workmanship, usually the better I like it,” she said.

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