Today I am thrilled to be sharing the amazingly detailed and dreamy artwork of Cathy Connolley from the UK. Her work is incredibly intricate, and you can tell that each piece is made with immense amounts of love. Read on to learn about her motto, her background, and where she finds bliss…
1. Please tell us a little about what you create.
I am basically a pen and ink artist and adore drawing. I have meandered over to printmaking (I have my own printing press), needlepoint, greetings cards, scraperboard and I do quite a bit of digital drawing on the computer. My trusty rapidograph pens are my first love though. I love both colour and monochrome art and I err on the side of the contemporary quirky and whimsical. Lots of ladies and birds on heads. Oh, and I do love drawing odd hats and headwear.
2. Do you have a motto?
I suppose you could say my motto would be “for goodness sake get it done” as I am a terrible procrastinator and tend to put things off while I think deeply about them.
3. Can you tell us a little about your journey that led you to where you are and what you do?
I have always been a bit “artistic” even as a child. I could always draw better than the other kids at school (boasting here I know) but I never really thought too much about it until the late 80’s. I discovered the very fine point of the rapidograph pen and realised that I could produce very detailed artwork. I can draw basically anything providing I have good references and I have endless patience. I first started with pointillism (building up a picture by use of tiny ink dots) and produced a lot of animal and other art which took months. Now I tend to use cross-hatching techniques which are much faster. My journey has now led me to doing a little bit of various techniques and melding them together and I am very happy with where I am.
4. What is your most favorite project or piece that you have ever created?
My pride and joy is a pointillism fox portrait surrounded by oak leaves which took me about 5 months to draw. I was so pleased with it I had it professionally framed so it has never been scanned for reproduction. It is not something I am ever likely to do again so it is very precious.
5. Who are your role models or heroes?
My artistic heroes and role models are multitudinous but if I narrow it down I love the work of: David Weidman, Linda Farquharson, Frans Wesselman and Catherine Hyde. Three of those are printmakers interestingly enough. I also adore lots of craftmakers and textile artists. The list is endless.
6. What aspect of your work brings you the most joy?
The nicest aspect is when someone actually loves your work enough to buy it and want to have it in their home. I consider this to be the ultimate accolade and it thrills me every time.
7. Can you describe where your inspiration comes from? (Do you perhaps have a process or ritual that you use to evoke inspiration?)
Nature is my biggest inspiration (probably about 90%). I adore trees, birds, animals, folklore and the mystical and spiritual aspects of life. On a more practical level I have many scrap books and folders full of inspirational art, photographs from the Internet, cards people have sent me, cuttings from magazines. I am very much a visual person and if I am in search of inspiration I just flick through the pages and spot a colour combination or a style I want to try and I am off on a new piece of artwork.
8. Can you offer one piece of advice to our readers?
Everyone and anyone can draw. If paint scares you just pick up a pencil and doodle. The pleasure to be found from drawing is immense.
9. What plans do you have for the future?
I have lots of dreams for the future, but as regards concrete plans, I just tend to let things flow to a certain extent. I would like to continue selling my artwork on Etsy and create much more art that people will fall in love with.
10 Are there any books or tools that you would recommend to people interested in your trade?
I have trillions of art and craft books in my home. Almost a library really. I would love to recommend them all but the day wouldn’t be long enough. I just love being surrounded by fabulous pictures of things other people have created. I do spend a lot of time in charity book shops though. You can get some fabulous out-of-print-books for a very small amount here in the UK.
11. Finish this sentence: For me, it’s the best feeling in the world when…
You have a great idea for a new piece of art and you lay down the first pen strokes on a pristine piece of paper….bliss.
You can find more of Cathy’s work at her Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/caitlihne
Her Website: http://www.thefarawayhills.com/
Or Her Deviant Art Page: http://tootiefalootie.