01/05/2009 -- Cathy Locke Wins Esteemed Pastel 100 Award

The Silver Heron Art Gallery in Depoe Bay announces that their artist - Cathy Locke - has won one of the esteemed Pastel 100 Awards, for her painting "My Landscape." For 10 years the Pastel 100 Competition, sponsored by the Pastel Journal, has been honoring the greatest pastelist from around the world. Pastel Journal's judges view over 4,000 contest entries and narrow down the winners to 100 artists. These top 100 winners are considered to be the best pastelist in the world. The Pastel 100 winners are divided into five categories: Landscape and Interior; Portrait and Figure; Still Life and Floral; Animal and Wildlife; and Abstract and Non-Objective. Cathy won third place in the Portrait and Figure category. Her winning painting is currently on display at the Silver Heron Art Gallery.

Emotion is the motivating force in Cathy Locke's artwork. "The figures in my paintings appear to be in a timeless void, inspired by the Buddhist concept of no beginning and no end. I create a landscape that holds an emotion that is timeless. The figures become one with their environment. I'm searching for a special moment so that the viewer isn't identifying with a certain individual, but an experience or a single feeling," she explains.

Color is large part of the energy of her paintings. "I love to control the palette, so all my work deals with strong color. I think about the emotion I'm trying to convey and what types of things I can do to best display that emotion on a 2-D format."

Locke has Wallis paper dry-mounted to smooth plywood so that she can wet it without danger of it buckling or bowing. "Since I start with acrylic washes the paper gets really wet. The emotional concept of not being able to control a situation is all part of my painting process, so I often let the acrylic washes just run down the paper. I work from motion, usually starting with the least moving elements first, then moving to the ones with the most movement last. I describe light in my paintings through a strong color and value theme, building layers to create depth and mood."

Frequently Locke paints a body of work in series. "Often I don't know what it's going to look like until I am ten paintings into it. Each painting is like a sonnet." My Landscape, which is part of her Soul Landscapes series, describes "the inner spiritual searching we all do. My influences are spiritual. I strive to translate those special feelings into poetry on the paper."

Cathy has been represented by the Silver Heron Art Gallery since its opening in 2006. She is also represented by galleries across the United States. Cathy has received over a dozen awards for her pastels in the last three years. These awards include honors from the Pastel Society of America, the Northwest Pastel Society and the West Coast Pastel Society. Cathy holds an MFA from the Academy of Art University, and has studied at the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg, the Lourve in Paris and the Tate Museum in London. She currently lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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