Walking Owl Studio -- Cat Fink, Visual Artist
drawings in mixed media


(posted on 6 Oct 2016)


I have a solo art show happening, and I am inviting to you come and create along with me. For real. See the end of this post for the when-and-where details.

Drawing, writing, folding origami animals, composing music, planning next year’s garden. Whatever gives you joy, come and play.

What gives me joy? I ask myself this question every day.

My upcoming show The Joy Diary is about joy, creativity, and sharing. It’s about inviting people into the studio. Showing the work behind the work. (I stole that line from Austin Kleon, awesome creator that he is.) I’m sharing creativity and process—what happened before that drawing was hung on the gallery wall, what made it become what it is. Sharing the path my creations take, mess and masterpiece alike.

My favourite advice on creating art (and life) comes from Canadian artist Norman Yates. ‘’Disorder opens a space.’’ Last year I asked myself, ‘’What if I bring some of Norman’s disorder into the gallery? What happens if the gallery becomes a place of sharing creative process, including the messes?’’ We all expect the art gallery to be a place of completed creation. The artwork is polished, the product of a year-long (or more) artist’s process. Our experience is passive.

I am making The Joy Diary interactive.

Imagine opening day, walking into a gallery show that begins at the beginning of creating the art. One drawing, dated today, and blank sheets of paper on the walls. Anticipation. The gallery expanding into artist studio.

In the gallery space an invitation is posted. ‘Artist At Play. Join me upstairs. See what is happening on today’s drawing. Chat, ask questions.’

For the run of the show, I am drawing onsite at the Station House Gallery in their upstairs studio. I’ll come in at opening time, remove a blank sheet of paper from the wall, create a drawing ‘What Gives Me Joy’, and re-hang the completed artwork. Eighteen large, narrative drawings over twenty-four days. Whew!

Imagine music playing. Imagine art materials and paper scattered across table tops, a cooling grande decaf mocha-with-whip sitting where it can’t get spilled onto the developing drawing (I’m getting wiser as I get older). This is my version of heaven.

Back downstairs in the gallery space, there is a second invitation asking, ‘What gives you joy?’ On a table are paper and art materials. I am inviting you to create your own piece of joy, give it to the gallery attendant, and have it hung as part of the show. You might create a drawing, a piece of writing, whatever gives you joy.

You, my Awesome Viewer, are invited to become immersed in the energy and activity of creation. Question and reply, viewers becoming participants, joining me, our artwork added to the gallery walls until at show’s end, this space is filled with a community’s conversation about joy.

HERE ARE THE DETAILS. The Joy Diary is happening at the Station House Gallery, #1 Mackenzie Avenue North, Williams Lake, BC. The show opens November 3rd, 2016, and runs to November 26th. Gallery hours are Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. https://www.facebook.com/stationhousegallery/

Come and play. I invite you!

Mentioned in this post:

Austin Kleon’s awesome books, Show Your Work! and Steal Like An Artist. Both published by WORKMAN, in 2014 and 2012 respectively. He does a weekly eletter that I love as well. http://austinkleon.com/

Norman Yates’ quote is from his artist talk, Two Rivers Gallery, Prince George, BC, February 2010. I was blessed to have met and talked with this generous artist twice in my career. http://www.timescolonist.com/obituary-artist-norman-yates-brought-big-spaces-to-the-canvas-1.874307


(posted on 7 Nov 2015)

The Crow Girls (Fran Baskerville, Wren Katzalay, Yvonka Jager, and I) have been in cahoots the last few months. We've been creating a single artwork on paper, 22'' by 30'', for a group show at the Slide Room Gallery in Victoria, BC.

Three of us are used to working BIGGER than this, so can you imagine crowding four artists' work onto this tiny surface? 'Challenge' is not enough of a description. And yes, we did it. Think layers, and cutting the sheet in quarters, and sewing it back together again. This is basically what we did.

We started by collaging a ground onto a piece of Rising Stonehenge paper. Layers of torn sewing pattern tissue. Images and used postage stamps and newspaper. Ink and coloured pencil and graphite and acrylic paint pens. Glitter (yes, we love shiny things!). Glued together with matte medium. All in our chosen palette of black, red, sepia, buff titan, and white. Then we gave ourselves even more of a challenge. We cut the sheet in quarters, closed our eyes, and chose a quarter to work on.

A precious 11'' by 15'' piece went home with each of us. We had a title to guide us--Lost in the Ghostlands--and a theme of childhood, memory, and maps.

We met again. Pieced our artwork back into a single sheet, and worked on linking imagery and marks from one quarter to another until it flowed as a cohesive whole. I don't have a photo of the entire piece, just my quarter titled Where the Wild Wind Is. That's it there, to the right.......

The group show 'In Cahoots (Synergy)' opened last night, November 6th, and will be open through November 30th, 2015. Every piece in the show has been created through collaboration by a group of two or more artists The Slide Room Gallery is located at the Vancouver Island of Art, 2549 Quadra Street. phone 250-380-3500. Enjoy!

(posted on 16 Apr 2015)

The writing has taken me over, so if you'd like to know what is happening with me, my blog site is the place to go look. The short story of my life lately--second revision of my book 'Know Trust Choose Create', blogging, creativity coaching, putting together a new workshop. Whew! and enjoying it all!

Come visit at http://catfinkKnowTrustChooseCreate.com and see what's up. xo

(posted on 11 Dec 2014)

Yes, just what the title says. My blog site is up and running. The writing is all about healing through using memory, story, and love. And of course creativity comes into it. I am posting midweek every week, and possibly more often depending on what is coming through in my writing. Come take a read and talk with me!

The address is catfinkknowtrustchoosecreate.com.

(posted on 14 Nov 2014)

So where have I been since the summer started?

Writing and writing and writing and writing.

It all started innocently enough. Had an idea. Started playing with it. Turned it into a book title - Know Trust Choose Create. Then the words started coming in, a trickle, then a stream, then a river. By September it was a lake, a deep one, and I am still happily swimming in it. Have 3/4 of the first draft written, will have it finished by the end of December. Then I will give it a 6 week rest, the minimum resting time according to Stephen King and he should know, before tackling draft number 2.

The writing I have been doing all my art career is taking centre stage right now. It is being rather pushy about it, so I am letting it have its way with me. What else can you do when creating takes over?

What am I writing? A memoir that teaches healing through memory, story, and love. I had fibromyalgia for 34 years, but not any more. I healed it. I used my creativity, my Buddhist practice, and my imagination.

Keep watching this space because I am now building a blog with book excerpts and more on my creative process. I'll be linking this website to it so you can find me. See you soon!

(posted on 16 Jun 2014)

Oh I have been having FUN! Soaking myself in creation energy, swimming in it, and have I been learning and creating! I did a comic course with Jazmyn Douillard during March to May in Williams Lake, BC, through the Station House Gallery. I love comics and graphic novels/works, always have. Doing this course, working with Jazmyn and five other particpants in the class, as a group creating a comic from start to finish, has given me a whole new awed appreciation for the artists who do this all the time.

This is a sample of what I was doing, no dialogue on the page yet as you see it here. No, I am not a brilliant comic book artist, but it was so interesting to try another way of creating art, and to create something with a group of people. I am so used to working alone in my studio.

For a very first try, not so bad. I can see the drawings are stiff and not terribly imaginative. I am curious to see how this new learning and different way of thinking will affect my future drawings and writing.

Am I going to become a comic book artist? No. But this has sent me back to reading the comics I read as a kid, 'Archie' and 'Donald Duck', just for fun and laughs.

In case you are wondering, that's Bob the Eagle from the Elf Eagle Network, and Page who is fourteen and a total wiz at research and connecting odd bits of information to create the whole picture. They are, with their other friends, trying to save the world from an apocalypse of course. And do they manage to save the world--well YEAH!

(posted on 16 Jun 2014)

What is this creature who

leaves behind seven crows, feathers,

info that connects to Idle no more.

Obviously all cats, crows, creatives

deserve & obtain respect.

They are all about resistance, resilience,

remembering strength heard

while refusing to be herded.

This nubile Cat Fink creature

constructed from & being:

child & elder, graffiti & reality,

red-orange-pink booming amidst

beige-white-black silence.

More feathers, an egg, a branch.

Contrasts of movement, stillness.

Scissors, hearts, nails, shadows of wolves.

A memorable animal making

& sharing memories.

by Si Transken 2014 (used with permission - thanks Si!)

These words are from the show Ekphrasis II, at the Groop Gallery, Prince George, BC, in May 2014, where local poets shared their words inspired by artworks in the gallery.

(posted on 1 Mar 2014)

I am beginning a new body of work titled ' Fix Something Broken'. Check out my new gallery of the same name, on this website. There's two drawings up--'Old Coyote Trick (messages in bottles)' and ' Fix Something Broken'-- and right now I am in the midst of creating the next one titled 'Crowgirl Words'. The two drawings that are up in the website gallery will be showing in the exhibit 'Earthly' at the Two Rivers Gallery in Prince George, BC, April to July 2014. The image in this post is 'Fix Something Broken'.

If you have checked the events page, you will know I have a solo show coming up February 7th through March 1, 2014, at the Station House Gallery in Williams Lake, BC, www.stationhousegallery.com. More details under Events.

Here's a preview, my Artist Statement for the show.

Artist Statement

Coyotes, Cheshires, Angels, and Other Complications

I am an artist, and that means I have an oversized imagination. A professional-basketball-player-sized actually, eight feet tall and size thirty-four runners. Yes, that is actually me. Also note the coyote tail wagging occasionally, the useful ability to fade away leaving only a smile, and the slightly battered halo.

I’ve said it before. Most artists I know (and love) are Tricksters, which means chances are good you are now talking with a Trickster. Welcome!

So the thing about having a size-thirty-four-shoe imagination is that things in life can get very interesting. The reason being that all the other Tricksters decide to get into action and play with me whenever I get the idea for something new to create. This is good. This is fun. We like to play together.

Sometimes this can be crazymaking. Kind of hold-onto-my-socks-and-hat crazymaking. Colours, marks, shapes, words, images all come dancing in, whether I am in my studio or not at the time. My Trickster friends don’t believe in schedules. Lately, they seem especially fond of 3:00 a.m. Despite what this sounds like, I let them go for it. Creating just is what it is, paying attention and playing, and seeing what comes of all that playing, even at 3:00 a.m. I can always nap later.

Most of the time what comes is a joyful, loving, healing drawing. What do I do with the help of the other Tricksters to get this happening? There is a question I ask—What do I love? And another question—What delights me, makes me smile, makes me laugh?

That’s where I start. Not just when I am creating my drawings. That is where I begin with anything I want to create in my life. Love and delight equals joy. When I get joyful, the experiences and people around me get joyful too.

Albert Einstein, a wise man (not just a smart man) and one of my heroes, asked if we live in a friendly universe or a hostile universe. When you think about it, that question opens up everything. It goes to the root of what I believe fundamentally about my life.

What kind of a universe do I live in? Well, I believe in Coyote Tricksters (fun), Cheshire Cats (wise play), Angels (love and spirit). Yes, I believe in a friendly universe. Not only believe it. I choose it. I choose fun, wisdom, play, love, spirit. That’s my Trickster recipe for life.

What’s yours?

Image below is 'Old Coyote Trick (joy)' -- The coyotes decided to take ballet lessons and then go visit Venice. Sounds like fun! Think I'll go visit Venice with them.

(posted on 6 Oct 2013)

Hey all! This time the coyotes are building and burning fences. Take a look in my gallery 'Garudas, Cheshire Cats and Other Complications'. I love my coyotes. They are wise and eternal children out for fun, usually doing both things at the same time. Tricksters, of course! What else could they be?

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