The need to create is certain. It is a truth in which all persons engage, sometimes without knowledge, but always with desire. Painting, drawing and the exploration with various media offer a creative freedom I have not found in other endeavors, while at the same time providing an endless journey toward an unknown destination - a true reflection of life. Painting with oil paint and the use of other mark-making devices enhances this freedom because oil paint can continue to be worked and played before its ultimate form reveals itself. It maintains a sense of the mysterious due to its translucent quality. I try to incorporate the process of automatism, which was first used by the Surrealists and later became an integral part of the Abstract Expressionist language. Automatism is an uncontrolled, undefined beginning for artistic images. The uncontrolled beginning leads to a slow delineation and realization of the final image which is both an intuitive and intellectual resolution. The paintings contain multiple layers and images which are buried and unrecognizable from beginning to end; like civilizations laying one on top of the other within the strata of the earth. Each layer is integral to the final language. This history, or underlying text, may not be evident, but what ultimately remains could not have happened without what came before. Nature, with all its vitalism, suggests evolutionary struggle, growth, and change. The spiritual forces of creation in relation to primitive cultures aligns with the knowledge gained through a sense of the naive and always incorporates nature. Approaching the canvas with an openness to achieving this awareness is central to creativity. Life is mystery, most of which is hard to understand. Struggle provides growth and with growth comes harmony, which constantly needs to be challenged in a positive manner. I hope to engender this feeling of harmonious mystery to the viewer through the contemplation of my work.
Cathy Palmer received her BFA in painting from the University of South Dakota. Her work has been exhibited throught the Midwest.