Interview: Catherine Tait
Luca Curci talks with Catherine Tait during VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2021 – 14TH EDITION, at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
Catherine Tait has been creating all her life and exhibiting professionally for over 35 years. She has won over 40 awards and in 2019, exhibited in New York. Living in central Victoria Australia, a creative hub for artists, Catherine attended art school and worked in display for Myer. Workshops and mentoring from established artists, and experts in their field, help Catherine’s approach to art constantly develop as the learning process continues to evolve. This ceaseless exploration propels her career and fuels an endless search for new techniques. Catherine’s latest body of work centres on the use of warm highlights and darker undertones to create depth and emotive constructs. She creates with multiple mediums – watercolours, pastels, mixed media, using a limited warm palette. Her subjects vary, from portraits to vast natural landscapes and intimate still life.
“The romanticism use of warm colours and darker tones creates depth and dimension in my work, the darkness becomes a protagonist that conveys a personal message. Delineating my subjects from the background allows them to become the stage. Lavish red and orange tones drape the canvas creating an evocative image“
Luca Curci – Which subject are you working on?
Catherine Tait – I am currently launching online drawing and painting classes. I am a teacher of various skill levels from beginners to more experience in the arts This unique online approach is a way of reaching out to my students, avoiding cancellations of workshops or classes due to the continuous covid lockdowns. A lot of people tell me that they cannot draw, “I can only do stick figures, I wish I could draw or paint like you”, I am here to inform you that I can teach anyone to draw. All that is required is the desire and wish to have a go, leave the rest to me. I also have embraced the covid lockdowns by furthering my knowledge of the artists’ minds, and currently completing a diploma of art therapy by correspondence, A learning experience of what makes artists “tick” thought patterns and analysis of artworks are also explored. When joining the lessons you will be invited to connect and dialogue with me via Facebook. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet other students. People do feel intimidated in classes, feeling they’re on the show. The classes I have designed are not only to develop your confidence but also you can proceed at your own pace. You can be flexible and repeat classes until you are ready to move on.
LC – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
CT – I have been creating all my life and exhibiting professionally for over 35 years. I have won over 40 awards and in 2019, exhibited in New York. Live in central Victoria Australia, a creative hub for artists, where I attended art school and worked in display for Myer Department store. Workshops and mentoring from established artists, and experts in their field, helped my approach to art, constantly develop as the learning process continues to evolve. This ceaseless exploration propels my career and fuels an endless search for new techniques.
LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or an instinctive process?
CT – I paint with all mediums, watercolours, pastels, and mixed media. I use a limited warm palette and that’s related to me – we are all attracted to certain colours. Mine are warm colours: oranges, reds and ultra-marine blue. I paint in several genres: portraits, landscapes, still life and streetscapes. My portraits and still life tend to have a human element. For example, my choice of objects is not picked at random; they have the back story of the people who owned them. They have emotion. It’s the same with my portraits – it’s not just someone sitting in a chair. They have a back story, personality and emotions. I developed into landscapes and streetscapes later in my career, where I attempt to capture the feeling of a place. It could be a shadow in an alley or the unique rock formation on the Flinders Island coast. At the moment, I am reflecting on the landscapes that I see around me – the Australian bush, my home and also when travelling overseas. For me, the key to a good painting is not the light but the darkness. If you get the darks right, the lights take care of themselves and it all comes together, that’s the magic of painting.
LC – Do you use art to express something in particular? Is it your medium of expression?
CT – Art is life, I submerge myself in what is around me and respond.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the exhibition?
CT – ITSLIQUID reaches out to other international artists to form one platform consisting of various artworks, It is always fascinating and an honour to participate with other artists’ interpretations of life.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
CT – I am most impressed with the professionalism of ITSLIQUID, both in dialogue and display.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us?
CT – I am new to your group, It is difficult for artists to reach out and exhibit internationally, ITSLIQUID approached me and I am now more than happy to participate in the future.