with love, from Chicago
The second in our series highlighting creatives, small businesses, local makers and artists within our communities; Here is Catriona Hegarty, artist and teacher from Chicago, IL
Q: Introduce yourself! // A: Hi! I’m Catriona, a 26 year old creative living + working in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago.
Q: Any particular people influence your individual style or your art? // A: Women inspire me. Joan Mitchell + Helen Frankenthaler are my biggest inspirations as it translates to my studio practice. Corita Kent stunningly combines design + education as a trailblazer in non-traditional teaching methods and approaches so she absolutely inspires me as an educator.
Q: How have you developed as an artist over your career, and especially during quarantine? // A: The first several months of quarantine I spent more time than ever before in my studio. I discovered and dealt with so many of my most intimate and delicate relationships through artistic expression and painting. Entertaining conversations inside + out of my own mind. I opened myself up to a brand-new opportunity through teaching. I now spend as much time teaching art as I do making it, something I never imagined myself doing pre-pandemic. I also got into making rugs!Q: What are some of your current favorite mediums to work with? Any colors or textures you tend to gravitate towards in your pieces // A: Ooo, my open-ended (focused on process over product art making) art class this week was about textures. We used some super fun materials- yarn, rocks, rope, water in a spray bottle + dried eucalyptus leaves. I believe the accessibility of art needs to be more celebrated, anything can be a paintbrush. Colors, I love em all, and I like them loud LOL. But I have a particular inclination towards blue, I think there’s a little bit of blue in everything. Blue is so many things.
Q: How often does a piece change throughout its creation? How do you know when a piece is finished? // A: I always tell people on Instagram never to get too attached to anything I post, especially in my stories because it’s not gonna look like that in about 60 seconds! Painting is reactive. You start and everything you do is just a reaction to the thing you just did. You keep going until you don’t have something else to say. Like a conversation, how you know when to end it? Well, when you run out of things to say.
Q: What is Noodle Art Studio and how did it come to fruition? // A: Noodle Art Studio is my latest project. It all started with a phone call from my aunt Laura back in October 2020. Three of her kids were fully virtual all of last year + they were really missing art and music classes, making messes and having fun with their friends! She gathered a group of her friends and their kids and a week later we hosted our first virtual class. Noodle Art Studio is committed to empowering the next generation of creative minds through open-ended art exploration. I help kids find, navigate and grow their ability to communicate through art that focuses on the process of making something rather than the product they produce at the end. These classes celebrate the student as an individual + amplifies their unique voices.Q: Why is artistic expression so important for all ages? // A: Everyone has permission to make art. We can make good art and we can make a lot of bad art too! Art helps us connect our minds and our bodies. It allows us to enjoy the little moments as well as the big moments. It captures the essence of our lives.
Q: Where do you pull your inspiration from? // A: From an older women batting a flower bush with her purse. The way a dead fly takes flight again as you suck it into the dust buster. From 70’s wrapping paper + from the rolodex of memories and things I like I have filed away on my notes app.
Q: If you could talk to your younger self, what would you tell her? // A: You’re good at everything. You will NEVER believe that about yourself but you are. And the things you’re not good at, you figure out because you’re stubborn and your smart and I’m so proud of you for making this life happen for you. Q: What do you want people to take away from your art? // A: I want them to take what they need from my art. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to art. Take what you need and leave what you don’t but I do suggest looking at art and saying to yourself ‘if it’s coming up, it’s coming out.’ And then checking in. something unexpected might just come up.
Q: Any new projects or collaborations coming that we should be on the look-out for? // A: I just joined the team over at Mr. Dave Music here in the Wicker Park area of Chicago so if you’re local to Chicago and have a little one, definitely come by for a class! I’ll also be releasing some dates for a 3-week VIRTUAL abstract expressionism class for all age on my Instagram soon- @catrionahegarty for those updates. It’s also where all my most recent paintings and sneak peeks land first!
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