Cathrine OConnel is the Art departments visiting professor for the Fall semester. She is a painter by nature and works mainly on large canvases. She graduated undergrad with a BFA and then attended MICA for her graduate work. Graduate school is where she says she really expanded as an artist. It broke her down to the basics and built her back up again. She often struggled with making"pretty art", she felt she fell into the feminine role of paint pretty colorful, optimistic things. She fought against the feminist stereotype and started to create work about growth and decay. In this stage, she was pinging dying flowers and using darker more earth tones.
I did not know going into the lecture that she was not only a painter but a sculptor also. She became obsessed with negative space, especially in one of her sculptures made out of pvc piping with materials on top. Most of the sculptures she showed us were very dynamic and figure like. They could be personified and seen as animals or human forms. She was into using a lot of textile materials like cloth and string to create very intricate art works that she worked closely with.
I myself can see where she is coming from with the fighting feminine art. I ahve been told by people and professors that my work can be too "pretty" and not emotional enough, but just like her I have kind of given up on fighting the stereotype. I like what I make and if it is too pretty then oh well, I had a reason for creating it how it is. Cathrine OConnel elaborated on how her surrounding influenced her work and how moving back to baltimore has changed her art. I too feel that where I am changes my art. If I am home my photos and work are different than when I am here. Furthermore, ever since I went to Italy this summer, my art has changed. I focus more on textures of the world now, and dynamic ideas. I feel that going to Italy really has opened up my mind more and ever since then I have been having so many ideas.
Her work is very interesting and definitely draws you in closer. Whether it be a six foot tall painting that draws you in to look more closely at the hues and tones of paint, or a sculpture that pulls you in to look at the materials made. Even the negative space within her sculptures create an interesting view of the surrounding. In her pipe piece the squared negative space regions create a frame like view of the wall behind it. I think her work is very interesting and provides great conversations with the viewer.