One-on-One with Catherine Nash, Tucson, Arizona, USA
What is your work about?
Beauty. Serenity. Compassion. Nature. The poetics of landscape. A particular timelessness. The nature of Being. I create art that responds to the natural world, reflecting a spiritual and philosophical relationship with the environment. The terrain, aesthetics and cultures of Japan, memories of the rich gradations and spaciousness of Scandinavian summer night skies, my experiences with Native American friends and explorations of the southwestern desert wilderness: these are my influences and what informs my artwork.
Do you have a studio routine, strategy or ritual that helps you get in the creative zone?
I work best with a deadline. If I don’t have a show or a gallery deadline, I impose it upon myself. I always leave something to finish the next day.
How has the pandemic affected your art practice?
I have been 100% unemployed since mid March. My gallery closed. No teaching. My selling of period wardrobe to film/TV costume designers dead stopped. I had prepared for an emergency financially and have some backup resources, so I could “relax” into it. Once I got a bit more accustomed to the unknown, I eased into this new normal. In the studio every single day, I use deadlines to keep me focused and perhaps sane. A big shift is that I have more time to read, research…and dream. It is in the “dream state” that I receive new inspiration.
What is your greatest reward, memory, accomplishment or proud moment as an artist?
I am still greatly honored to have received the “Lumies Artist 2015” award for southern Arizona, “awarded to an individual artist that has demonstrated excellence, originality and ingenuity in the local arts and culture sector; arts ‘luminaries’ who have made a profound impact on the lives and communities of Southern Arizonans….Catherine Nash – Artist Award: Awarded to an individual artist that has demonstrated excellence, originality and ingenuity in the local arts and culture sector.” Perhaps most meaningful is that I was nominated and then voted for by peers and major arts professionals in Southern Arizona. So grateful and honored!
What is one thing you MUST have in your studio?
Soft Music. Incense. No phone/no laptop. Solitude. Quietude. Whoops! That is more than one thing. So perhaps, “conducive environment” is the one thing.
What would you tell your future self about being an artist right now?
“You are right to remain true to yourself, continuing to create work from your core, your deepest reserves, your poetic self. You know it centers and grounds you. Embody peace. Who knows where the art world is going? You cannot care about how you fit in…it is most vital to listen to and honor creative muse….and then create!
After more than 4 decades of continuous, focused art making, TRUST. Trust the conversation that is without word: an intuitive conversation with paper, wax, branches, brush, pen, saw and twine. So, future self, trust thyself! Stay true!”
How has the Art NXT Level Academy improved your art career?
A new member with one month under my belt, I joined to gain a clearer understanding of the changes within the professional art world. I have completed the “Road Map for Established Artists”. I’m almost done with the “How to Sell Art Online Post Covid-19” section and more. I’ve gotten a lot of affirmations about my own marketing and have also learned a great deal – about the potential of social media as promotion for instance. I learned that some things I don’t want to pursue, yet for the most part, I am trying to integrate these innovative new ideas.
What is the best art career advice you’ve ever received?
Dutifully carrying my portfolio into Manhattan at age 18, both advertising artists separately advised me to “Make art that follows your heart and spirit.” Little did my well-meaning father anticipate that the two interviews he set up for me would both end up with such advice.
“What is the worst thing that can happen here? Will you die?” : my own bolstering mantra used numerous times, to combat fear. It got me onto a plane to Europe with a 1-way ticket and my portfolio at age 22. Lived in Paris for a year and a half.
Represented by the Bowersock Gallery in Provincetown, MA https://bowersockgallery.com