Catherine S. Tuggle

Phone: 507-961-0762

Fifty years ago I would never have thought of myself as an artist. In my mind, “real” artists wore slinky black outfits, had pierced ears, and knew exactly what they were doing—at least these were the reasons I gave myself for shunning art schools, graduating instead from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin in 1966. Especially odious to me was the seeming necessity that artists wear black; it drains my skin of color, turning my face pewter gray. In college, therefore, I majored in geology and only minored in art. However, once my children were launched into the world, that ‘thing’, this art which I had always found strangely mystifying due to the way it impressed other people, began itching, aggravating me to the extent I finally had to give in to it.

In three years I progressed from attending watercolor workshops to classes in drawing and painting at the University of Louisville and finally, gallery representation at the Yvonne Rapp Gallery in Louisville, Kentucky. Ten years later, after numerous one-woman shows and exhibitions, as well as being “discovered” by Grace Borgenicht, the owner of a New York, New York, gallery of the same name, and included in her group show, “Pastel Anthology II”, I set aside painting and drawing to write. The year was 1994. Now, after twenty three years and a radical move to Minnesota, I have resumed pursuing my skills and talent as a visual artist.

Over the years my subjects and approach have remained consistent. Whether drawing or painting, I focus on views most people would not consider worthy of a photograph, much less elevating them to the level of art. In landscapes I dash natural colors with the unexpected. This peculiar approach to my subjects and use of color is my way of saying to viewers—look, really look at what you are seeing: whether it’s this exquisite planet or the miracle of this body or human being.

At age 74, even though I have pierced ears, I will never wear black. If I ever get to the point where I think I know exactly what I am doing, that certainty will have destroyed the challenge, the learning experience of trying something new that is the crux, the vibrant heart that feeds my passion to explore life through art.