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Cathy Rodgers has taken leaps and bounds to become an artist. Her matisse like paintings take their own form by expressing amazing colors and shapes. Read her story on how she became such a great painter and designer.

Kess InHouse : Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get your start as an artist?

Cathy Rodgers : I discovered my ability to paint later than most artists – in my mid-40’s.  I had a husband, two teenagers and was the caregiver for my mom, who lived with us.  Oh – and my father had recently passed away and I’d recently finished chemo and radiation for breast cancer.  Taking art lessons was my escape from the major amounts of stress going on in my life.  Painting helped me heal.

KIH : What is your first memory as an artist?

CR : As a child, I remember watching my mom, aunts and grandmother sew, crochet and knit.  I learned to do those things, by copying them.  So I think the seeds of creativity were planted in me at an early age.  Every craft I learned, from childhood through my years as an adult, fed my thirst for more and more creative outlets.  No creative activity seemed to really satisfy me, until I learned to paint in 2005.

KIH : What is your creative process?

CR : I tend to be creative in long bursts of activity – then it seems like I’ve got nothing for awhile.  I’d like to say that I enjoy those times of nothing, but I don’t.  I fret and worry that my creative inspiration is completely gone and I’ll never paint again! Usually, I’ll start to notice certain color combinations around me and try to determine the best way to express those colors in my art.  Shapes are another thing that catch my eye – especially shapes within shadows.

KIH : What is your favorite piece? How did you develop the composition?

CR : My favorite piece is Matisse Styled Lilies.  It’s the large painting that hangs above my work space that you can see in several of the photos of me in my studio.  One summer, several years ago, a friend took me to an enormous day lily farm.  I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a day lily farm!  It was like heaven to me.  I bought tons of day lilies and had put all of them in a huge plastic bin to travel home.  I snapped several photos of the plastic bin, crammed full of day lilies and sitting in the back of my SUV.  Those photos inspired my painting.  The semi-flattened perspective of the blooms in the painting reminded me of my favorite artist, Henri Matisse.  That’s how I came up with the title, Matisse Styled Lilies.

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KIH : What is your work space like?

CR : I’m lucky to have a large room over the garage in my house.  It’s a combination den/art studio.  I installed an 8′ counter top along one wall of the room. Sadly, I’m a messy artist and there’s usually so much stuff spread out on that counter top, I only work on about a 12′ square of it!  It’s ridiculous.

KIH : Why did you become an artist?

CR : I think painting is my way to fight against the ugliness in my life and in the world at large.  It’s my way to choose joy.  When I first started painting, when my life seemed to be filled with one family crisis after another, the paintings I made during those years were some of the most beautiful art I’ve ever made.  They were all beautiful flowers, full of rich and vibrant colors.  They were an expression of the exact opposite of what I was living through at that time.

KIH : What was it like to see your art on Kess InHouse products for the first time?

CR : It was so exciting.  Many artists spend a lot of time looking for something that says “I’m a real artist.” (I don’t think it’s a good idea to spend time looking for such a thing, I’m just admitting that I think this way sadly.) Seeing my work on the Kess InHouse website for the first time was one of those moments for me!  I’m a real artist, because my work is on the Kess InHouse website!!! It makes me laugh to even write this down.  Embarrassing, but true.

KIH : What artists inspire you to create your artwork?

CR : Georgia O’Keefe, Henri Matisse August Renoir and August Macke are a few of my favorite art masters.  Modern day artists that I admire are Kal Barteski, Jennifer Vallez and Kristina Laurendi Havens – even though my art is very different from these three women, they inspire me to just do my thing, to be myself.

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KIH : What are your top 5 favorite products offered by Kess InHouse for your artwork?

CR : Fleece Throw Blanket, Cotton Duvet Cover, Shower Curtain, Throw Pillows and the Fine Art Gallery Prints

KIH : Would you recommend Kess InHouse to other artists?

CR : Absolutely.  The reproduction of my original work onto their products is fabulous – the colors are great and don’t look washed out.

Did you find Cathy Rodgers super talented? Did you have anymore questions for her? Please comment below to ask anymore questions about Cathy.

If you are also interested in being a Kess artist please feel free to apply on our website.