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Woolworth Walk

Cathy Nichols

When I was younger, I thought I would be an English professor. Then I fell in love with a painting. I'd been in love before, but never with something so colorful, so obscure yet rife with promise. It was abstract, yet figurative. There was an animal shape rising up, suspended by a red, heart-shaped balloon against a dark, moody background. On the bottom was a faint, yet discernible trace of glitter. Glitter.

This was a love letter, and ever since reading it, I have been trying to write back.

Wax encaustic is my medium of choice because it shares an affinity with our emotional landscapes. The wax is richly colored and holds bits of paper, messages, pattern in its layers. Yet there is a fragility inherent in the wax. It can be dented, scratched or even melted away completely if not handled carefully. And these marks of wear and tear tell their own stories.

Sometimes my ideas emerge fully-formed while I'm sitting in traffic. Other times, I gather all of my materials and begin to weave images together with wax, paint, medium and words until something coalesces. Often I make "mistakes" or end up looking at a disaster I'd like to throw out the window. When this happens, I force myself to keep going. I always remember the first time I tuned a guitar; the sound was the most confusing right before it snapped into harmony. This is the same way with paintings. And maybe even with love.

I know that a painting is finished because it seems like the right thing has been spoken - something I wouldn't mind sharing with my levitating glittery friend (or with you).

Gallery 828-254-9234 | Soda Fountain 828-254-9210

25 Haywood Street, Asheville, NC 28801
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