San Diego - Artist

 Cathy Carey Contemporary Fauve Expressionism San Diego

Cathy Carey's Bio-Profile

Cathy Carey was born in Washington, DC. and grew up in Alexandria, VA. She was educated at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC, and received a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. After graduation Carey moved to Southern California and continued painting, and started a business in graphic design and illustration. She works in all mediums including Photoshop to create images. “I often do the drawing phase on the computer so I can quickly enlarge and reduce pieces of the composition.”

Her teaching career includes being an instructor of Color Theory at The Art Institute of California in San Diego, leading workshops in Santa Fe, NM, Pasadena, CA, at the Golden Door, and at her studio in Escondido, CA.  Cathy’s paintings have won numerous awards from juried shows such as: The San Diego Pastel Society, The Escondido Municipal Gallery and San Diego Watercolor Society. She has been included in Who’s Who in the World as well as Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in Education. 

 “I call my style of painting Contemporary Fauve Expressionism. My goal is to evoke emotion through my use of color and composition. I combine expressive and impressionist color and brush strokes to scenes of the natural world. Often my paintings are of a house, or houses, and trails through a landscape. These represent the soul, individual, or society, and the trails are the journeys of life, the path taken. My paintings take place in an alternate reality. I change perspective, heighten color, dramatize certain aspects, and minimize other details in order to create the mood of this other place.”

  “I enjoy working in a series. I go to a place, take photos, paint on location, write thoughts and words about how the place “feels” to me. Each new subject requires me to re-evaluate the way I apply the paint to the surface, and which medium I should use. I try and combine the best of studio painting and Plein air, by using the complex color nuances of nature as well as the heightened color that comes by painting from memory. I am driven to enhance the color of the scene in order to express my emotional memories of the moment. I am drawn to images of fleeting moments, the patterns and textures of light, the illumination and shape of objects. Something about a scene I choose to paint is at once compelling to me and part of an everyday encounter.  My foremost interest in painting is the effective use of color in creating emotional and visual depth. When people look at my paintings, I think the first thing they notice is the vibrant color. I’m not even sure I see color in the same way as everyone else. Does everyone perceive the world in terms of the language of color? It’s a wonderful paradox to ponder - what color do you “see”, what color do I “see”, what color is “real”?

Cathy Carey’s personal philosophy of color is to express emotional meaning through color. “I believe this is the purpose of art, to express the story of being alive at a particular time. Art is the physical manifestation of the emotional and spiritual nature of an artist’s response to the world around them, and the world within them. Throughout the years Cathy has worked in all mediums and  researched and studied the many ways color is used to express emotion, perspective, and temperature. From her research she wrote a workbook on color theory called ‘The Philosophy of Color’, published in 2004.

Every last weekend in April and first weekend in December for eleven years, the public is invited to attend Cathy Carey’s Open Studio Tour to view her latest work and incredible gardens. You are invited at any time of year to make an appointment to visit her studio and view her work. For more information view Cathy Carey’s Website


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