In 1972, I had a teaching job at an English art college and a chance to show in the best gallery for unknown artists in London, but I wasn't satisfied. My life and work lacked meaning and purpose. I took off alone overland to India. During three years in India and Nepal, I began a serious life-long meditation practice. Later I added the Western mystical tradition. There are as many paths as there are people. I'm only finding what works for me. Returning to America, I wandered and worked in California, Mexico, and Gautemala, building my meditation practice. I feel like I've gone to school twice, once for academic mind, and once for emotional and cultural expansion.
In 1987, I began painting again from nature, emotion, and a new awareness. In 1997, I settled to stay on California's North Coast, an interesting art community surrounded by inspiring landscape. With the fog, the ocean, and the mountains, this area has the most dramatic lighting effects I've seen in California. I can no longer paint in a big city. The world has supported me in my effort to become a new person. Now is my chance to return that gift with painting and teaching.
I meditate before I paint to clear my mind of the flow of thought. Then, "intuition" can consistently slip in ideas that feel inspired beyond the resources of my limited personal programmed habits. Habit forms style. Consistent style is not as important to me as inspiration. I live on the edge. My life evolves. My work evolves.
My focus is on light. I'm captivated by the poetry of light. Light is my symbol of positive energy. In surface quality, I prefer luscious beauty with a light touch. Depending on how I feel, I work in oil, watercolor, pastel, or monoprints. Some influences are Burchfield, O'Keefe, Gornik, my parents who both paint, and the free, intuitive approach of the kids I "teach" art to. I feel that a painting could be a joy, a sustaining source of beauty, a puzzle or visual koan, a catharsis, a joke, a deepening insight into life's intention, or all of the above. My work is filled with multi-level symbolism, conscious, or unconscious.
One of my hopes is to help make positive content in paint more interesting to the contemporary mind. It has been good to liberate paint from the weight of the past. It has been good to express our wounds. Now we can also paint our vision. We live in a time of change and struggle. We have expressed the frustration of our times. We also need an art that reaches out to all and inspires us to keep going. We need an art that flows from the fountain of life.
Journey Into the Light by Cat McAdams
A beautifully illustrated book featuring many of Cat's paintings and personal experiences with visionary art.