Inside the Studio

The Fluidity, Evolution, and Emotionality of Cat Huss

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?

My work is very fluid, literally. I’ve always lived around water and am fascinated by its energy, force of movement, and ability to support life both animal and plant. To me, it represents evolution. The main theme in my work is my evolution as a human being, not scientifically, but intellectually and emotionally.

How did you first get interested in your medium, and what draws you to it specifically?

I prefer acrylic on canvas specifically because of what it lets me do with the water. I can change the consistency and color concentration of acrylics very easily, washing over and adding layers as I go. Pouring on prepared canvas and pushing it around there leads to unplanned beauty. Acrylics give me freedom.

How has your style and practice changed over the years?

My first paintings were much less abstract than now, and they were less mature, logically lacking in development. I found myself focusing in on the more abstract areas of those works and wanting to expand it. In the last couple of years, I started to feel a constant need to paint. I had dozens of paintings in my head. I decided not to push that down anymore and to just be me, even if that dream or idea seemed crazy to others. My current practice is much more focused on making this a full-time, life-long career.

Can you walk us through your process? Do you begin with a sketch, or do you just jump in? How long do you spend on one work? How do you know when it is finished?

The first step in the process is to lay the canvas or paper on the floor. I mix watery paint and pour it on, manipulating it with a brush or spatula. Sometimes, I just leave it there and see where it goes. I keep repeating this, hang and do more defined brush strokes, etc. The last step in the creative part of the process is making marks and lines with pens or graphite.

I usually work on several paintings at once. Some of them might be done in a few days and others may take weeks or even months. I know it is done when I feel a sense of satisfaction with what I see.

Who are some of your favorite artists, and why?

Heather Day, Christa David, Karen Fitzgerald and Linda Colletta, to name a few. My favorite artists are the living people out there doing what they love. They are people making art and sharing it, forging relationships in their local communities and partnering with different brands for exposure. They are breaking the known rules of how to get ahead in the art world.

What are some of your favorite experiences as an artist?

I like being alone in the studio with thoughts, artist materials and music…those are the best times. My recent participation in The Other Art Fair Brooklyn in November was also a landmark experience…I got to meet my ‘tribe’.

About the Author

Katherine Henning is Senior Associate Curator at Saatchi Art. Need help finding art? Contact her via our free Art Advisory service here.