Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Reflected Study: Cathy Deuschle

Author: Heather Eck (OVAC Intern)
Cathy Deuschle, Mirror Fragments I , oil on watercolor paper  23" x 18"
Tulsa artist Cathy Deuschle perceptually paints light and geometrical elements at their finest in her Concept/OK Survey exhibition pieces, Mirror Fragments. Through the use of oil paints and a keen, patient eye, Deuschle manages to capture the way in which mirrors reflect light onto each other. Each mirror fragment reflects a view across from it, which makes a ‘window’ appear to form a complex open ‘landscape’. These mirrored ‘landscapes’ serve as a study of light, geometry, and composition. Deuschle informed me further of her inspirations and intent of Mirrored Fragments.
Cathy Deuschle, Mirror Fragments II , oil on watercolor paper  22" x 27"
Q: What inspired the creation of your Concept/OK piece?
CD: The paintings selected for the Concept OK show are from a series on mirror fragments reflecting into each other within white surroundings.  Though mirror reflections have entered my work before, the impetus to focus on them came after seeing Olafur Eliasson’s light installations at MOMA.  I wanted to explore and interpret with paint that same interesting intersection of light, reflection and geometry using the sources and materials familiar to me:  oil paint, local light, and common mirror glass. 

In painting these, the phrase ‘lost in translation’ deepened in meaning because the attempt to approximate the ever changing light is very plainly restricted to what the pigments, time, and my perception will allow. Because of this, calibrating color relationships and locking down the drawing was of heightened importance. I chose broken mirror pieces because the irregular shapes signified them as objects with individual character as well as utility. These pieces were entirely painted from direct observation.   
Cathy Deuschle, Mirror Fragments III , oil on watercolor paper  23" x 18"
Q: What is your favorite medium in which to work? Why so?
CD: My favourite medium is oil paint. It is a fluid and direct means of expression that allows for a lot of reworking which I tend to do.  I love the buttery consistency, it’s responsiveness to touch, and the traces of personality that come through in the brushwork.

Q: What do you want viewers to take from your work?
CD: This work asks the viewer to consider the meeting of representation and abstraction, the elemental nature of light, and the value of subtlety.

Deuschle won an Award of Merit chosen by the guest curator Liza Statton. The Concept/OK: Art in Oklahoma exhibition is open to the public through February 16, 2013  at the new Tulsa Arts and Humanities Council’s Hardesty Arts Center. See for more information. 

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