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“Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery, like the idle curved tunnels of leaf miners on the face of a leaf. We must somehow take a wider view, look at the whole landscape, really see it, and describe what’s going on here. Then we can at least wail the right question into the swaddling band of darkness, or, if it comes to that, choir the proper praise.”
The natural world has always been a deep solace and creative influence. Poetry, literature and critical essays are also critical to my personal exploration. A great poem, not to mention great prose, helps me shake out what I am thinking or feeling and gives definition to these personal experiences, in both my conscious and unconscious life. My watercolors are inspired by some aspect of the natural world — my walks, my garden a new landscape — and the colors and textures startle me into revery that gets translated into creative expression. My collages, on the other hand involve an entirely different process and are an exploration of things that puzzle, inspire or devastate me. Both of these mediums are instrumental to find intersection, patterns and clarity while navigating this world and my place in it.
I used this show to explore the swift distillation of a person’s life to taxes, tangible property and record keeping. I often felt that administration took over the real business of mourning. Painting this show was a meditation on these issues, but the process brought me back full circle to celebrating the grace and light in my parent’s lives, while reminding me to walk the line in my own.
Isa Catto’s work has been widely exhibited throughout the United States and abroad. She has spent the last fifteen years working in watercolor and mixed media, as well as teaching workshops at arts centers worldwide. She lives in Colorado with her husband and two children. She received her BA from Williams College and studied fine art at the University of Colorado Boulder and Parsons School of Design in New York. She teaches at Colorado Mountain College in Aspen, Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, and the Wyly Arts Center in Basalt. She has also taught at the Michael Kohler Arts Center, San Antonio Center for Arts and Crafts, and the Austin Museum of Art.