Five questions to Cat Spilman

Five questions to Cat Spilman

The US-born artist Cat Spilman let her piece come from a place of emotion. She is self-taught and known for her large, mostly monochrome abstract paintings. Cat lives and works in York, England.

How did you get into art?

My mother is an artist and art has always been an important part of my life. I studied filmmaking in university and then went on to work as a Scenic Artist for film and television before deciding to give myself the time to explore and make work of my own. I've been painting full time ever since. 



How would you describe your style? What makes your work special?

I make large, mostly monochromatic abstract paintings. Some have solid shapes, some have overlapping lines and for me these represent different parts of my personality, or different moods. My limited color palette is the cohesive element. 

How do you go about developing your work?

I do sketch, but more to keep my hands in motion. I scribble and make shapes on pages just to see what comes of it, but not to specifically plan a painting. When I paint I try to avoid any preconceived ideas and instead let the movement of the piece come from a place of emotion. 

Who or what influences you?

I'm influenced by so many things including people, art, cinema, magazines, graphic design, food, friendships, love, grief, sleep or lack of sleep. I'm not trying to make work in a specific style or genre, I'm only trying to make work that's true to myself at any given time, so anything that I encounter on any given day can make its way into a painting. 

Make us curious. What is planned next?

I'm working on some very large pieces now that I hope will create a separate space for the viewer, a more immersive experience. I want the paintings to be transportive, to elicit a physical reaction.