Sunday, February 5, 2012

Instructor Spotlight: Cathy Taylor - Don't be a Doctor, be an Artist!

Welcome to your final stop on our Art & Soul, Virginia Beach retreat instructor blog hop (boy that's a mouthful!). But I hope you enjoyed reading about just a few of our extremely talented teachers and the creative inspirations behind their art. Don't forget to comment on the blog for your chance to win some mixed media goodies furnished by our lovely on-site store Artistic Artifacts!! I'll draw a winner for this post on February 10th.

Today's Instructor Spotlight is about the very vivacious, very talented Cathy Taylor. She's been teaching at Art & Soul for 4 years now — and WOW!-ing students here since the very beginning. An instructor with a big heart and a passionate soul, she'll make you feel so comfortable that you'll want to come back for more. So here's a little more about Cathy...

What started your art career?  


I was working 24/7 in a job that I did not enjoy.  I had no time for me, let alone time to be creative. We've all been there at one time or another.  I decided that I needed to do something to give myself a break or go bonkers.


So I enrolled in a local watercolor class and the rest is history.  I started painting in 1990 and found my life's passion.  I had always loved art but found myself going for the brainiac studies with the aim of being a doctor.  Art was supposed to be a hobby, not a REAL job.  I began teaching in 1995 at a local art league.  My weekly class was experimental watermedia, but the director thought that sounded too technical.  So I came up with "No Mistakes Watermedia"  and I set a record with 20 students for a brand new teacher.

I also managed to crack up the staff and students with titles for each weeks' class such as The Fear for White Paper, Risk a Glorious Failure, Now That You Have a Glorious Failure, and Imagination Constipation.

I had found my life's work.  I LOVED TEACHING!

What do you love about being a working artist?

I love the way that is has changed the way I look at things and life itself.

It's a busy, cluttered, hectic world and it's easy to look at something and not really see it.  Seeing something requires specific attention, an appreciation. It's important to make time to appreciate, to discover the magnificent colors and textures and patterns and shapes around you.

We record our feelings and our observations through our eyes; our own interpretations.  As a workshop instructor I am often asked " aren't you afraid people will copy you?"  Of course not!  I am sharing techniques, ideas, and encouragement.  I am not trying to produce "Taylorite" artist clones.  I couldn't if I wanted to.  Everyone has their own voice drawn from very personal experiences and memories in their lives. 

"In a large measure, becoming an artist consists of learning to accept yourself which makes your work personal and in following your own voice, makes your work distinctive." 
~Art and Fear by Bayles and Orland

What is your favorite media?

The one I am currently working on!

As a mixed media artist and workshop instructor, my favorite question is “what if?”  Now that I think of it, perhaps that has always been my favorite question, accounting for the prairie dog rescue fiasco (they bite!), the laundry room chemical mixing mishap, the incident involving dam flood gates and my short swim, and other creative adventures from which my Mom is probably still recovering.

My artistic experiments are not as harrowing, but they are every bit as compelling and exciting.  I am less and less attached to the product, and more and more interested in the process.  When I allow my mind to open up to possibilities, to the creative energy in the universe, my results are far more satisfying than when I try to “make” something happen.

I love to explore artistic techniques by taking them one step further, pushing the limit.   Most recently, I have done collages using old circuit boards.  One of them was juried into the National Collage Society Show last fall and earned me my signature membership!!!  Yipeeeee

"To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk"  

~Thomas Edison.

I notice you like quotes. What is your favorite?

Yup, Love other people's thoughts!

Probably one of my favorites is Picasso's...

"Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up"

Another favorite...

"When my daughter was about 7 years old she asked me one day what I did at work.  I told her I worked at the college; that my job was to teach people how to draw.  She stared back at me, incredulous and said, 'you mean they forget?'"  
~Howard Ikemoto

Cathy will be teaching 2 classes at Art & Soul, so check them out and then sign up... her enthusiasm is infectious!

Paint, Paste, Play - a 2-day class where you'll get to just play and make magic happen! Don't know how to paint? Super! Don't know all those fancy "art school" techniques? Perfect. Cathy will teach you so many ways to create "real art"... that you'll just have to see for yourself!

Finding Your Creative Spirits - in this workshop, you'll enjoy a magical experience, starting with a playful “what if” morning and ending with gorgeous, fantastic creations! You'll create “Happy Accidents” using an old National Geographic magazine pages and a household cleaning product! I've seen the results of this class and you won't believe your eyes.

For more information about the art of the very talented Cathy Taylor, you can visit her website at

And the Winner of the Cathy Taylor blog hop post is..... Creative Soul Juice! Yayy! Make sure and e-mail us (at the link in our profile) and send us your information and address so we can get your prize to you.


  1. ooOOOoOoooo... love this interview. Watercolor is my first love... only a month away from Art & Soul!!! ☆¨(◕‿-✿) ❀~Hobby

    1. Creative Soul Juice! You are the winner of this blog hop post!! Please send your name and address to and we'll get your prize on its way.

    2. Yay! I'm so excited! Thanks so much for this awesome gift! I just bought some vintage items to use as giveaways at A&S.... Can't wait! ~Hobby

  2. All of this is beautiful and I would love to take any of Cathy's classes. Alas, I'm already booked up with other classes. Hope she will be here next year!

    The blog hop has been so much fun. I've loved getting to know more about some of the teachers. Can't wait to meet them in person.

    See everyone in a month!

  3. Cathy's painting is amazing, and her classes sound really interesting. I love her outlook on art and really appreciate what it must have took to become an artist instead of a doctor. Bravo!


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