Meet the artist - Catherine Hensiek

Untitled by Catherine Hensiek - acrylic

This month we are featuring interviews with the artists who are in our upcoming art show - sight/unseen - at The Artist's Den in Concord, May 21-26, 2016.

This is Catherine Hensiek - what do you like most about living in Concord?
I like that my neighborhood in Concord is surrounded by numerous trails that criss-cross the foothills of Mt. Diablo. Driving east on Ygnacio Valley Road and gazing on our beautiful mountain and the surrounding hillsides allows me to mentally escape the congestion of the rest of Central County. 
I love that downtown Concord is centered on a historic square that provides a focal point for music, art and food. I enjoy the diversity in our community that provides us with festivals and world cuisine. We moved here in 1985 and the small town we first considered a way station on our journey to a big city has become our hometown. The natural beauty of our area is a constant inspiration for my art. Every morning I look out at Mt. Diablo and marvel at the ever-changing vista. The challenge I find is to take full advantage of all the activities that our town offers.
What medium do you plan to use in your art for the sight/unseen show?
For the piece I am doing for sight/unseen, I will be using mixed media techniques including acrylic paint, collage, ink, gouache and some three-dimensional aspects. Some of this is familiar, but with a twist for this piece. I enjoy learning new techniques, which is why I am always taking classes.
Are there any exciting mediums or techniques you've learned about recently?
During the last month I have been learning to make small books, which is something I have wanted to do for a long time. I am very excited about translating some of the book making techniques I have learned into other projects.
How long have you been creating art?
I have been making art most of my life. As a child I was always creating paper dolls of all different historic eras. I took art classes in high school and college even though art was not my major. Although I spent a number of years in the corporate world, I did have an interim career as a designer. Retirement allowed me to jump back into the creative world.
Untitled by Catherine Hensiek - mixed media

What is the best advice you're ever received as an artist?
The person who has been the biggest influence on my art has been my painting teacher, Patsy Taylor. She helped me learn the techniques and principles of acrylic painting including composition, value and color. The best advice Patsy gave me was to draw or paint every day. It does make a difference in that it helps to train both my eyes and my hand!
What advice would you give a new artist?
For anyone wanting to explore becoming an artist, I suggest checking out the large number of classes offered in our area through Walnut Creek Civic Arts, Mt. Diablo Adult Education, Acalanes Adult Education and Concord Parks and Recreation.


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