Artist Statement and Bio
"My work spans decades and if the paintings were lined up together, they would tell a story" - Cathryn Miles, 2019.
Lela, my grandmother made quilts intuitively from fabric remnants sewn into geometric designs. She didn’t use preliminary drawings or patterns. and her creations were my earliest art inspiration. I still have a few of the quilts and marvel at how contemporary they look.
I started drawing at an early age and was able to take private classes from a number of artists who who really got me into experimenting with paint. My favorite artist at that time was Van Gogh and I used thick paint on cardboard to try and emulate his energetic brush strokes. I had no knowledge of contemporary American or European art, and it wouldn’t have occurred to me then to look at the art of non-Western cultures.
Years later, after both art school and graduate school, I completely changed my thinking about painting. I started looking at abstract, contemporary artists such as Richard Deibenkorn and other West Coast painters for inspiration.
The paintings I made in Houston, during the late 70s and early 80s, were large scale and very abstract. When I moved from Houston to Atlanta in 1987, I experienced a much more conservative art market. An art consultant in Atlanta told me my work was “too personal”, so I started doing landscapes that would sell easier. While my talk of needing to sell work might offend an academic person, the aspect of making paintings in order to pay bills is very real for me. I have had to learn to balance my academic side (art for art sake) with the practical side (pay bills and survive).
During the early 1990s, and up to around 2010, I produced numerous quasi-traditional landscapes. I was also teaching on the college level and to prep for course projects, I immersed myself in global art. I developed a great appreciation for Asian art…Japanese prints in particular. My printmaking background from art school began to re-emerge as part of my process with the layering of color areas.
Most artists experience change in their work.. Acquiring knowledge of art history, experimenting with different tools and surfaces, and sometimes a need to get out of a rut are some of the reasons I’ve allowed my paintings to evolve. I’ve more or less come full circle with the direction of my work. I’ve gone from admiring my grandmother’s geometric quilts, to painting quasi-traditional landscapes and, most recently, back to abstraction of forms in my imagery (not quite geometric, but still related to the quilts).
I've always been inspired by nature. The colors of weather, patterning in the earth (both natural and man-made), movement of sky and water are infused into my imagery. Typically, I do small sketches or watercolors to use as “guides” for making my larger compositions. I use vine charcoal to create a linear structure on the canvas before laying out large areas of color with acrylic paint. From there, I apply layers of oil paint with a variety of carpentry or house-painting tools.
Beautiful color combinations, a physical surface quality, and an unexpected arrangement of shapes and lines are some of the qualities that I try to achieve in my paintings. Overall, my intent is to create a visual connection with the viewer. I want my work to be something that can be lived with and looked at forever.
Shain Gallery, Charlotte NC
The Haen Gallery, Asheville NC
MFA, University of Houston, Painting; Full Teaching Fellowship (Drawing)
BFA, Atlanta College of Art, Printmaking
Kennesaw State University/ School of Art and Design; 2006 - 2014: 2D Design and Color Theory; Arts and Society
Georgia Perimeter College: 1994 - 2004: Painting, Drawing, Art Appreciation, 2D Design and Color Theory
Art Institute of Atlanta: 1994 - 2006: 2D Design and Color Theory
Shain Gallery, Charlotte NC: New Works – June 1 – 20, Two-person
Thomas Deans Fine Art, Atlanta GA: "Carpe Diem" - April 13 - May 8, Solo
Thomas Deans Fine Art, Atlanta, GA: "Signs of Spring"- March 15 - April 15, Gallery Artists.
Studio E Gallery, Palm Beach Gardens, FL - Gallery Artists
Thomas Deans Fine Art, Atlanta, GA: Cathryn Miles and Scott Upton/ New Works, April - May, Two-person
Thomas Deans Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA: Introductions: Cathryn Miles, December 2-31 2016 Palm Desert
Elder Gallery, Charlotte, NC: "Breathing Space", Feb. 6 - Mar. 30, Solo
Thomas Deans Fine Art, Atlanta, GA: New Year/ New Works, Jan. 23 - Feb.28, Group
Thomas Deans Fine Art, Atlanta, GA: "Summer Pleasures": June -July, Group
The State Capitol, Atlanta: "The Art of Georgia", Aug. - Jan., Group
Watershed Gallery, Ridgefield, CT: “Certifiably Organic”, Sept. - Nov., Group
Elder Gallery, Charlotte, NC: "The Great American Landscape", Aug., Group
Kibbee Gallery, Atlanta: “Passages”, May, Two-person
Thomas Deans Fine Art, Atlanta: "Landscapes of the Mind", Mar., Group
Elder Gallery, Charlotte, NC: "Trees", Oct., Group.
Kibbee Gallery, Atlanta: "Transcendence/ Contemporary Abstractions", Mar., Group
Meyer Metro Gallery, Houston, TX: " East Coast - West Coast/ Inner Mappings", Mar., Two-person
Elder Gallery, Charlotte, NC: "Black, White & Color", July, Group
Elder Gallery, Charlotte, NC: "American Woman", Oct., Group
Adam Cave Fine Art, Raleigh, NC : "Dunlop and Miles/ New Terrain", Oct., Two-person
dk Gallery, Marietta, Georgia: " An Artist's View", Aug., Group
Thomas Deans Fine Art, Atlanta: "New Works", July, Solo
Stonehenge Gallery, Montgomery, Alabama: "Cathryn Miles/ Mark Singer", Oct., Two-person
River Gallery, Chattanooga, TN: Oct., Two-Person
Stonehenge Gallery, Montgomery, Alabama: " Cathryn Miles/ New Works", Oct., Solo
Jules Place, Boston, Massachusetts: "People, Places & Things", Sept., Group
Turner Center for the Arts, Valdosta, Georgia: Oct., Solo
Summit One Gallery, Highlands, NC, Group
Harold Washington College, Chicago, Illinois, Group
Summer House Gallery, Highlands, NC: "Territories", June, Solo
Thomas Deans Fine Art, Atlanta: "Eternal Visions", May, Solo
Imatra Art Museum, Imatra, Finland, Group
Kouvala Art Museum, Kouvala, Finland, Group
Callenwolde Fine Arts Center, Atlanta: "Topographical Views", April, Solo
Clayton State College and University: Artist-in- Residence: 1995, 1998, 1999 and 2000
Georgia Perimeter College: Oct., Solo 1997 Instituto Tecnologico Automomo De Mexico: "Hecho en Atanta", April, Group
Aliya Gallery, Atlanta: "Recent Works", Mar., Solo
Anthony Ardivan Gallery, Atlanta: "Yellow", Jan. 1, Group
Selected Clients and Collections
Brightline, Tampa, Florida (Corporate Collection)
Art Institute of Atlanta (Permanent Collection)
Clayton State College and State University (Permanent Collection)
Capital City Club, Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia Perimeter College (Permanent Collection)
King and Spalding Law Firm, Atlanta (Permanent Collection)
Delta Airlines, Atlanta (Corporate Collection)
Piedmont Driving Club, Atlanta
Jacqueline P. Lanham Interiors, Atlanta
Barkin-Leeds, Ltd, Atlanta
Philip Sides Interiors, Montgomery, Alabama
Lobster Bar Sea Grille, Ft Lauderdale, FL
Mark Timothy Inc., (corporate collection) Boca Raton, FL
Senator Albert Gore, Nashville, TN