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Artist Gazing

Article Published: May. 12, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Artist Gazing

'Lily Gazing' by Cass Catlett

This week, ArtWalk is featuring work by a Greensboro watercolor artist, Cass Catlett.

Catlett is a member of a group of artists called the Cosmic Cow Society. The society is devoted to providing opportunities to artists from Greensboro and the rest of the Triad region, and to making art more accessible to the general public.

Several artists from the society share a booth in ArtWalk's lower level. In addition to Catlett, a selection of works by Scott Plaster, Carole Donovan and Rose Wenkel can also be found.

Though Catlett has only been painting for about eight years, her control of such an unforgiving medium is evidence of great talent. Despite being nervous about entering the previously unknown practice of painting, she pursued several watercolor classes to discover that, despite her fears, she did have a natural penchant for color and composition.

The fluidity of watercolor lends itself well to mystery and a delightful interplay between figure and ground, aspects that drew Catlett to the medium and led to her color pouring technique.

"I had definitely never considered that I could or would make art," she said. "In fact, like many people, I did not consider myself a 'creative' person."

Amy Keith Barney of the Circa Gallery in Asheboro said, "Her work is colorful, delightful and sure to influence people's emotions with just a glance of her carefully painted pieces. One can't help but want to travel to the places she has created and be surrounded by the vibrant colors."

Catlett had been around art her entire life, visiting famous museums across the country and in Europe when she lived there in the 1970s. In 2003, her partner, Gabrielle, asked her the question, "What is your heart's desire?"

"After a few moments of having no answer to that, I literally heard myself say, 'Well, I've always wanted to paint,'" Catlett said. "It was a shock to me."

Catlett wrestled with conflicting emotions for the next few weeks, including negative self-talk, fear of disappointing others, fear of failure. She finally put aside these fears and began painting. She calls her experience of facing these paralyzing doubts "walking through the veil of fear."
Under the initial direction of watercolor painter Jo Leeds of Greensboro, Catlett discovered her inner ability to draw, choose colors and paint.

Catlett is now 62 and says a person is never too old to explore a desire or dream. Until beginning work in her own studio in Fisher Park, Catlett was one of the Lyndon Street artists, where she both created and sold her work. She now exhibits her work in a number of venues, including the Gallery of the Arts in Winston-Salem, ArtWalk in Boone and the Circa Gallery in Asheboro.

For more information on Catlett, visit and
Catlett's watercolors and works by other Cosmic Cow Society artists can be found on ArtWalk's lower level. With three and a half floors and more than 300 local, regional and national artists, ArtWalk is located at 611 W. King St. (across from Mast General Store) in downtown Boone.

Hours are Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, or to inquire about individual gallery booths for rent, call (828) 264-9998, e-mail ( or visit

Gallery Times
Gallery Times is a weekly news feature of The Mountain Times, featuring short news items submitted by local galleries.
For more information or to make a submission, contact editor Frank Ruggiero at ( or (828) 264-6397.

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