Day & Night. Inks, Laquer and Clay

Day & Night. Inks, Laquer and Clay

Day & Night. Inks, Laquer and Clay

Cathie Bleck

Cleveland Heights, OH


1978  BFA  University of Illinois

Solo Exhibitions

2015  Avance, Firecat Projects
2013  Fragility, Packer Schopf Gallery
2008  Mid-Career Retrospective,
               New Britain Museum of American Art
2008  Mid-Career Retrospective,
               Butler Institute of American Art

Group Exhibitions

2014  Egregore, Yves La Roche Gallery
2012  Juxtapoz 18, Copro Gallery
2011  Women Artists from the Collector,
               New Britain Museum of American Art
2007  Picturing Health, Norman Rockwell Museum

Selected Collections

Victoria & Albert Museum
The Butler Institute of American Art
The New Britain Museum of American Art
The Library of Congress

Artist Statement
When I was a girl I fell in love with darkness.  The tools I work with - pen, ink, fine knives and clay - became natural choices for me to observe and record the world in close detail, and to best orchestrate the balance between opposing forces where all species are challenged to maintain an equilibrium in a world of constant change.  I am drawn, too, to my medium’s affinity with wood engraving, which evokes references to former artistic traditions and styles.  Imagery for this project is both personal and historic:  a recent sailing trip in the San Juan Islands near Washington State.  I basked in the moonlight, out in the open ocean, imagining the solitude and sounds that spoke to the early explorers in this forested paradise. 

My explorations in kaolin clay/sgraffito have come full circle, so to speak, with this cylindrical natural object of the ostrich egg.  A fine sanding of the egg prepared a rougher surface for the multiple layers of clay to bind to; each left to dry before the next applied.  After a few centimeters of clay filled the surface I sanded the egg and a smooth sensory painting surface emerged.  Ink mixed with lacquer was selectively painted on and then carved through, revealing my imaginary narratives.