Cathleen Palumbo

Artist Type: Painter

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Contact: Cathleen Palumbo at (575) 581-0155


If it is possible to be balanced between dreaming and waking it is in the act of painting.  Life, in all its complexities and distractions, begins to make sense in the creation of a painting that holds as much mystery for the painter as the observer.  The dreamer understands the mystery and knows that language can never express it so completely.

My paintings are inspired by the beauty of the landscape, constant change, and emotional interaction with the elements.  These feelings are expressed in various forms:  realism, surrealism, abstraction, and figurative work.

While visual art and color are my primary expressions, I write poetry, post "word paintings" on my blog, and have published an illustrated book entitled "Enjoying Art:  An Artist's Perspective on How to Enjoy Art." 

I received my formal training in Massachusetts at Montserrat College of Art and through frequent and often lengthy stays in Italy. I was raised in Leadville, Colorado, home of the highest mountains in Colorado.  My path has taken me from the mountains to Philadelphia, New York, the North Shore of Boston, and now Northern New Mexico.

The complete body of my work encompasses quite a variety of styles.  Since 2009 the main focus has been a series of faces.  The Faces Series' intent is to express through line and color the uniqueness of each individual.  Using only my imagination as a guide, I’d just let the figure emerge in the moment.

Rather than painting what our mainstream media cultivates as acceptable, beautiful, normal, popular, or not, I am reaching beyond those images in a way that may seem bizarre at first glance.  Taking the viewer out of what we perceive as real can evoke a response to emotional elements within the painting.

I was always surprised by what I had pulled out of my hat and my own reactions.  Sometimes the conditions of the day - weather, emotions, events, feelings, desires - would clearly be reflected in the figure. Other times it was more like having bumped into a new friend and got to know him or her a little through simply listening.

The series will be ongoing until I run out of fresh ideas.