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Located in Southwest Escondido near Del Dios Highway and Via Rancho Parkway
All images and text are Copyright 2015, Cathy Carey, San Diego, CA. All rights reserved.

Artist Statement     Resume    Articles by Cathy Carey

About Cathy Carey

About Cathy Carey

I have the ability to create the world my mind is going to live in as I paint, and I am determined to express the way I then feel.  I spend most of my time painting or thinking about painting and it is within the realm between joy and grateful where I choose to dwell.  


Through my choices of style I am working to accomplish a way to communicate something I feel that can’t be expressed any other way.  I paint in the studio so that my visions from a place can percolate into memories I can manifest.  I’m not just copying something I have seen; I’m reliving something I felt.  I strive to make people feel joy yet I also explore incorporations of my introspective thoughts and questions of morality and mortality. 


In order to express emotion in my paintings I use color and composition to communicate my story.   I strive to create balance and harmony.  Using opposites and complements to balance each other is the essence of my color theory - they create a visual “push pull” of space.  I use harmonious color to build up layers of light and texture next to areas of balanced opposites.  By doing this I energize the colors and they sing in their own spotlight.


The focus of my current work is to capture a joyful sense of reality by representing the color and drama of a place through gesture and brush stroke, color and composition.  I want all the elements to work together to become something that has more meaning than all the pieces separately.  I paint what it feels like, not what it looks like.  I want the movement and interaction of colors and shapes to feel like the rhythm and pulse of music and dancers.


I paint landscapes because I love the feeling I get when I’m surrounded by nature and because I am fascinated by organic shapes.  I’m inspired by the feel of the wind and how its movement causes light to dance in patterns of warm and cool.  I’m drawn to the night sky with the knowledge that looking at the light of stars is looking back in time.  I think about my environment and the animals that I share my world with and I want to show them in a joyful integrated space. 


It is my belief that the more perfectly something is represented in a painting the less emotional it becomes, so I use vivid color, disrupted perspective and patterned space as a way to draw attention and create emotion about my subject.  We don’t fall in love with how perfect someone is, we become attached emotionally to each other’s differences and imperfections.  It is through this idea of imperfection creating emotion that I evolved my drawing style.  I use a technique called blind contour.  This leads to wonderful distortions but also surprisingly coherent images. 


Art is a communication.  The story I want to tell is also one where all matter is connected and vibrates with the energy of consciousness - connections between the earth and air and all the beings in between.  My expressions also reflect the way we change our environment and the behavior of each other through interaction and observation.  I want to show how things are related to the space they’re in because they are dissolving into that space over time.   


The multi-layered textures of my paintings and how every color vibrates next to its opposite is how I create the idea of energy.  I use brush stroke marks to show the lines of energy I feel coming off the living shapes, spreading and combining throughout all aspects of nature.  These lines of energy represent the vibrations I sense around and through the animate and inanimate world.  There is a dual particle-like and wave-like behavior of energy and matter.  To me the particle activity is like the short impressionist brush strokes that build up the substance of my shapes.  The long energetic strokes are the wave activity of movement in the space of the painting. 


These are the things I think about when I paint.  If I wasn’t an artist I would be a philosopher.  I am very appreciative that I can get up every day and head into the studio and have another idea.


I enjoy working in a series. I go to a place, take photos, paint on location, write thoughts and words about how the place "feels" to me. I am driven to enhance the color of the scene in order to express my emotional memories of the moment. I am drawn to images of fleeting moments, the patterns and textures of light, the illumination and shape of objects. Something about a scene I choose to paint is at once compelling to me and part of an everyday encounter.

My foremost interest in painting is the effective use of color in creating emotional and visual depth. When people look at my paintings, I think the first thing they notice is the vibrant color. I'm not even sure I see color in the same way as everyone else. Does everyone perceive the world in terms of the language of color? It's a wonderful paradox to ponder - what color do you "see", what color do I "see", what color is "real"?

The Philosophy

My personal philosophy of color is to express emotional meaning through color. I believe this is the purpose of art, to express the story of being alive at a particular time. Art is the physical manifestation of the emotional and spiritual nature of an artist's response to the world around them, and the world within them.

Throughout the years I've worked in all media and I've researched and studied the many ways color is used to express emotion, perspective, and temperature. From my research I teach classes on Color Theory and wrote a workbook for my students called 'The Philosophy of Color', published in 2004.

The Background

I was born in Washington, DC. and educated at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC, I received a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. I have exhibited my paintings in galleries in Virginia and California, and my paintings are in many private collections. My teaching career includes being an instructor of Color Theory at The Art Institute of California in San Diego, workshops in Santa Fe, NM, Pasadena, CA, at the Golden Door, Escondido, CA and at my studio in Escondido, CA .

My paintings have won numerous awards from juried shows such as: The San Diego Pastel Society, The Escondido Municipal Gallery, San Dieguito Art Guild  And San Diego Watercolor Society. I have been included in Who's Who in the World as well as Who's Who in America and Who's Who in Education.

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Corcoran School of Art, 

Washington, D.C. 

Virginia Commonwealth University, BFA, 

Painting and Printmaking, National Dean’s List - 4 years


Professional Painter

• The Glass House Art Studio - 

Private and group classes

Art Institute of CA in San Diego

Instructor Color Theory

Elements Graphic Design - 

Self-employed graphic designer and illustrator


Encinitas City Hall “Vivid Views” and E Gallery 101 “Colorful Californina”, Encinitas, CA: February - June 2015

La Playa Gallery, 2226 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037: January 2015 Solo Show

Poway Performing Arts Center, 15498 Espola Rd. Poway, CA 92064: September 2014, “Cathy Carey - Living Color”

Arroyo Gallery, 200 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM: January 2013, “Vivid New Mexico”

Fairmount El Corazon, SantaFe NM, January - July 2013, “Vivid New Mexico”

UBS Corporate Offices Rancho Bernardo, CA: 2011, 2012 Current Work

Escondido Municipal Gallery - Escondido, CA:  June 2011 Travels in Spain

Elfin Forest Interpretive Center - Escondido, CA:  Sept-Nov 2010

Expressions of the Elfin Forest

Cathy Carey Gallery - Encinitas, CA: 

Solo gallery of 1,000 sq ft of display area 2006 - 2008

Shiva Artistic Collections - Escondido, CA

Featured shows: Maui Meditations - 2006, Tuscany - 2007

Rock Island Gallery - Coronado, CA

Featured shows:  Maui Flowers 2007

Giverny - 2006, California Dream - 2005

East West Gallery - La Costa, CA: 

Featured show: Venice & Italy  2005

Escondido Artists Gallery, Escondido, CA 

Solo Show September 2003

Poway Library, Poway, CA - 

2003 Solo show -Pastels

Mission Trails Regional Park - San Diego, CA - 2002 Solo show - Impressions of Mission Trails

Art Studio Tour - 2002 - present

April and December

Group Shows

1999 - 2015

Vista Library Group Show “North County Painters”

Oceanside Museum of Art - in Del Mar Annex - juried show Fall 2014

La Playa Gallery - June 2014 “Summer Solstice” La Jolla CA

Elfin Forest Interpretive Center - Four Artists Summer 2014

Front Porch Gallery - June 2014 Escondido Municipal Gallery - various ongoing

Las Lagunas Gallery- “For Every Season” Cahuilla Totems - 4/14 Laguna Beach CA

2014 Southern California/Baja Norte Regional Exhibition - San Diego Art Institute - “Runaway Day”

The Ranch at Taos, July 2013 - current

Gallery 104, July 2013 - 2015

Arroyo Gallery, 200 Canyon Road, Santa Fe “Tapas” 4 person show Spanish Market 2012

San Diego Botanical Garden - August 2010, 2012 “Garden Expressions”

Escondido Municipal Gallery (EAP) - ongoing 2004 - present

Awards from EAP

“Food for Thought” February 2015 Third Place Peoples Choice for The Vegan Owl 

“Local Color Year of the Horse” July 2014 First Place for High Country - The Protector 

“Contemporary Realism” May 2014 Second Place for Rio Grande Heading to Taos 

“Ity Bity, Itsy-Bitsy, Teeny Weeney show” March 2011 Second Place for Cat Walk

“Art of Making Money” May 2010 First Place for Making Bread

“Members Show” February 2009 Third Place for Mysteries of the Night

“In Dreams/Local Color” August 2009 People’s Choice Award for Promenade

Art Institute of CA in San Diego - “Asia” group show, Spring 2009

262 Gallery Escondido, CA 

Fall/Winter 2008/09

Art Expo, New York 2007

San Diego Pastel Society Show Balboa Park 2007 Second Place

Miramonte winery, 2007 - 2008

Rancho Santa Fe Art Guild Gallery, 2006/07

Imperial Beach Art Walk, Fall 2005

Museum of the Living Artists - Balboa Park San Diego, CA 

Art Walk Little Italy - 2004 - 2005 

Arts Festival San Diego - 2004 - 2005

La Jolla Art Association - Pastel Show, 2002 - 2003

San Diego Pastel Society Show Balboa Park - 2003

North County Society of Fine Arts, Fall Show - Poway Center for Arts 

2000 - 2001

Scripps Ranch Art Club - People’s Choice Award Winter 

La Jolla Art Association - 3 person show 

Escondido Art Gallery, Spring Show  2001 Honorable Mention

Scripps Ranch Art Club, Fall 2001 

Scripps Ranch Art Club, Summer 2000 

San Diego Watercolor Society, 2000 and 1998 - 1999

Rancho Santa Fe Art Guild Gallery, 1999

Golden Pacific Arts GallerySan Diego, CA  1999

 • San Dieguito Art Guild, Fall Show - First Place

SHOWS Prior to 1999

Marine Life Gallery, Del Mar, CA

San Dieguito Art Guild, Leucadia, CA

Off-track Gallery, Leucadia, CA

Bradford Gallery, Leucadia, CA 

Pannikin Gallery, Leucadia, CA

Omar’s Art Gallery, Newport Beach, CA

Fullerton Art Gallery, Fullerton, CA

Virginia Beach Boardwalk Art Show, Virginia Beach, VA

Neptune Art Festival, Virginia Beach, VA

Royal Art Gallery, Alexandria, VA

Fredricksburg Juried Art Show

Eric Schindler GalleryRichmond, VA


Art Calendar Magazine - Working with a Web Designer, July 2009

Art Calendar Magazine - Artist Sponsorships, April 2008

Downtown Escondido Magazine, Communicating an Intense Connection to Life - May 2008

San Diego Home and Garden Magazine  Outdoor Living - Cover, page 20, Dramatic gardens - 2008

Del Mar Times, Rancho Santa Fe Review- Artist’s vibrant colors add a touch of magic - November 2008

Art Business News, Meet the Art Expo Solo Artists -  January 2007

• San Diego Home and Garden Magazine, Feature: Vibrant Palette - October 2007 

San Diego Union Tribune, Artist finds perfect spot to create - November 2007 

• Your Local News, Every view is a painting - November 2007

North County Times, Awash with Color -  April 2007

North County Times, Just for Mom -  May 2006

The Artist’s Magazine -  On and below the surface, January 2005

San Diego Union Tribune, Expressive Art - December 2001


• San Diego Art Institute -   Museum of the Living Artist

• Escondido Municipal Gallery

• Rancho Santa Fe Art Guild

• Off Track Gallery

• San Dieguito Art Guild

• Scripps Ranch Art Club, founder

• San Diego Pastel Society

• Pastel Society of the West Coast

• La Jolla Art Association

• San Diego Watercolor Society


The Philosophy of Color, Trafford Publishing 2004

Artists Magazine,  In the thick of it, June 2006

Best of America: Pastels - Kennedy Publishing - 2007

Rancho Santa Fe Times - articles: April 2004, April 2005, Dec 2004, Dec 2006, Jan, April, May, June, July 2007, March, April, May, September, November 2008

Kennedy Best of Artists website - articles 2008-09

CATHY CAREY Workshops 

Elfin Forest - San Diego, CA

Monthly plein air painting classes

Travel Workshops - Santa Fe, NM

 Take Your Painting to the Next Level

Daler Rowney workshops at Arts and  Materials Show in Pasadena Learning Expo in Burbank, 1999 - present

Sennelier Art Manufacturers

2001 - 2003

The Golden Door Spa, Escondido, CA  - 1999 - present

Artisan Art Expo - Santa Fe, NM

August 2003


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Articles by Cathy Carey

    Art and Nature at the Elfin Forest

    Art and Reality

    Cathy Carey’s Art Studio and Garden Tour April 24th and 25th

    RSF Art Guild Members Open Studios for Holiday Tours

    Survival in a Slowing Economy

    Realism, Magic Realism and Representational Art in Rancho Santa Fe

    Modern Interpretations of Impressionist Painting by San Diego Artists

    Three Dimensional Art in Glass, Fiber and Bronze

    Self Induced Inspiration - Local artists who look inside for image and identity

    The History and Hype of Giclee: From Gutenberg to Grahm Nash

    It takes a Village to Bring you Community Art

    Representational Art - Still Around?

    How We Communicate with Art

These articles are in PDF format. To view these articles, you will need to have Adobe Reader (or equivalent) software installed on your computer. If you do not have this software, you may download a free version by clicking on the Adobe link below.

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