Cathy Lancaster

Cathy received her B.A. from Mississippi State University and lives in Memphis, Tennessee. She finds her inspiration in modernism, color, life in New Orleans and her family.

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People ask me what inspires me in painting. I think I have that innate thing artists need which is a sense of color. That, I believe, is God given. My paintings are about layering. I am inspired by modernism but I could never create that perfectionistic, precise version of modern art. My best paintings emerge with mistakes beneath, peeking out from under the surface. I am inspired by character where the blemishes and scars point you to want to know the stories beyond what you see. They show you that what you are seeing hasn't been manufactured and is rooted in an actual moment in space, time and history. It is so fun to think that what I am doing can outlast me. I long to reflect something much bigger than myself.

I feel so fortunate to have grown up in a small town in Mississippi. You get to know the characters of your place and they seep into your make-up. Moving to New Orleans awakened all my senses to color in every realm of life. If New Orleans is anything, it could never be considered boring. There, I got to know so many talented people. I fell in love with jazz and zydeco music. The food. There is no need to describe it unless you have never experienced it. Mardi Gras, the architecture, the old live oak trees, meeting several people who walk around with huge parrots on their shoulder. The old lady who rides around uptown on a bike with a basket on the front in vaudeville looking makeup. Nobody even pays attention to the guy walking on Magazine Street in a red tutu because there are so many characters. So, I have to say that just living in New Orleans inspired me tremendously.

Interesting people inspire me. My children inspire me because they are so funny and keep my life from being anything but dull. My husband is inspiring to me because he is such a fun and passionate person. Truly my best friend. He supports me and puts up with all the reasons why I paint.

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