Catherine Spilman

She explains that she never pre-plans her works, rather they are fluid and natural, pouring out of her onto the canvas. In creating the work, she has learnt about herself and her feelings, each work is a kind of self exploration; a self portrait.

What is your background? How did you get into your field?
I graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York, then worked for several years as a Scenic Artist for film and television. When I moved to the UK I decided to devote myself to my own practice and have been developing this style ever since. 

Catherine Spilman

What inspires you to create?
I have a three-year-old daughter whose innate creativity I find endlessly inspiring. When she paints or draws there is no expectation or self criticism; it’s entirely pure. Part of my practice has been attempting to unlearn and strip away any preconceived idea of what a painting should be, and instead allow whatever comes to exist in its own right. 

Can you tell us about your process?
I have a very simple ritual to start every painting which is to prime the canvas then draw an interior border with a black crayon. It’s very minimal, but for me that defines the space. Sometimes the line of the border is neat, sometimes it’s crooked and I have to draw multiple lines. Something that simple can help to define the character of the rest of the painting. 

Do you listen to music while working?
I almost always listen to music while I’m painting and I find that what I’m listening to can have a big effect on the outcome of the piece. The style of music changes all the time, but I do like to dance around the studio, especially if I feel kind of stuck. I’ve tried listening to books or podcasts but I don’t like how much they take me out of my work mentally. 

How do you spend your free time?
I spend most of my free time painting. It is technically my job, but I don’t think of it that way.

What comes next?
I have two shows I’m painting for now – one is a drop with Partnership Editions which will be out in September, and the other is a solo exhibition with Shay Hewett Fine Art which will open in January. 

Cat Spilman –