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June 13 - July 26, 2024

Huss_Iceberg, 2024. Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 40 in. $3,900.jpg

Lola Shepard is pleased to present FROM THE OUTSIDE IN, a dual exhibition showcasing recent paintings by contemporary Color Field artists CAT HUSS and MARGARET WATSON.  The virtual exhibition will debut on the gallery’s website on Thursday, June 13, 2024, at 10:00 AM and will remain accessible for viewing until July 26, 2024.


FROM THE OUTSIDE IN introduces the refined abstraction and rich color spectrum embodied in the paintings of Color Field artists CAT HUSS and MARGARET WATSON. Informed by her deep communion with nature, Huss creates meditative compositions that echo her introspective odyssey, with each artwork offering a glimpse into her inner terrain. In contrast, Watson directly channels the vitality of the bucolic surroundings where she resides in Pennsylvania, employing the act of painting to highlight the landscape’s polychromatic grandeur and ever-changing essence. Through their distinct approaches, both artists interpret the natural world as a pathway for self-exploration and imagination, fostering a profound connection with their art practice—a journey from external observation to internal revelation.

Showcasing her newest series, Earthling, CAT HUSS explores the theme of belonging, representing a deeply personal odyssey as she grapples with the concept of identity. From childhood into adulthood, Huss often felt like an outsider or alien, even jesting with friends about being picked up by a "mother ship" to return home. However, in recent years, her perspective has undergone a transformative shift. By connecting more deeply with nature, Huss has experienced a profound connection to her place in this world, leading to a newfound sense of belonging and a deeper understanding of what it means to be an "earthling." 

Huss approaches her art with methodical planning, beginning with rough sketches, notes, and thoughtful consideration of color and composition. Once in the studio, she allows the creative process to take over, pouring her thoughts onto the canvas. Her work often starts with multiple layers of poured paint, resulting in a blend of colors, densities, and vibrancy. As the painting evolves, Huss continues to refine it, adding rough geometric shapes to bring order to the composition.


Working primarily with acrylic paint, she incorporates elements such as graphite, paper, and soft pastels to enhance her vision. Describing her approach as "meticulously playful," Huss draws inspiration from a diverse range of sources, maintaining an extensive library of visual ideas. Her methodology is unique to her sensibility, culminating in a harmonious balance of precise and natural strokes as the painting reaches completion.


Visually, Huss seeks to create immersive experiences that transcend traditional boundaries of perception. Through her use of prismatic fields of color, her paintings inspire optimism even in the darkest moments.


MARGARET WATSON is a painter whose work is rooted in the landscape, challenging traditional notions of perspective and depth through her innovative approach to color and mark-making. Watson's artwork unfolds within a flat, abstract, and conceptual space, diverging from the deep, perspectival views typically associated with landscapes. 


At the heart of Watson's practice lies a deep engagement with materials and process. Her paintings evolve organically, with each layer of color and mark responding intuitively to the previous one. Embracing the agency of paint and relinquishing control over much of her process, Watson invites the possibility of unexpected relationships and juxtapositions of shape and color to emerge, both surprising herself and enriching the work.


In her "poured paintings," Watson employs a unique array of materials including acrylic paint, oil, walnut ink, stencils, and paint scrapers. Forgoing traditional brushes, she pours thinned acrylic paint over the canvas or stencil and manipulates it with a large paint scraper, allowing forms to emerge spontaneously. The rapid drying nature of acrylic paint lends a performative aspect to the process, with each mark building upon the last in a dynamic interplay of color and form.  


The resulting paintings bear the visible traces of their making—raw edges, drips, pooling, and overlapping layers—inviting viewers to engage with the tactile quality of the work and meditate on its depth. Watson's body of work celebrate movement and the expressive power of color, capturing the unpredictable nature of pigments and drawing inspiration from the beauty found in nature and everyday moments.


CAT HUSS has been a professional artist since 2017. She holds both a B.S. in Advertising and Public Relations and an M.A. in Communication from Drury University in Springfield, MO. Her work has been exhibited in numerous galleries, virtual exhibitions, and independent fairs across the United States. She has also been written about in several esteemed publications, including Bold Journey magazine, Art Business News, The Bend magazine, Shoutout Atlanta, Voyage ATL, and the Canvas Blog by Saatchi. Notably, one of her paintings recently graced the cover of Elle Décor UK. Huss’s artwork is held in private collections throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, and Japan. She currently lives and works in Corpus Christi, TX.  


MARGARET WATSON resides and works in New Hope, PA. She holds a B.A. in Design and Fiber Arts from the University of California and an MD from the University of Washington. She has also studied Painting and Drawing at the Gage Academy of Art (Seattle, WA), Painting and Printmaking at Pratt Fine Arts Center (Seattle, WA), an Advanced Painting Workshop with Ed Paschke at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center (Snowmass Village, CO), and Scientific Illustration at the University of Washington (Seattle, WA). Watson has mounted numerous solo and group exhibitions nationally, including ArkWRKD Gallery (Newtown, PA), Muse Gallery (Philadelphia, PA), Gallery I/M/A (Seattle, WA), and Francine Seders Gallery (Seattle, WA), Zürcher Gallery (New York, NY), The Clio Art Fair (New York, NY), Art Show at Phillips’ Mill (New Hope, PA), and Gallery V2 (Seattle, WA), among others. Watson has also participated in several art residencies, including Millay Arts (Austerlitz, NY), Brush Creek Artist Residency (Saratoga, Wyoming), Willapa Bay Artist in Residency (Oysterville, WA), Centrum Artist Residency (Port Townsend, WA), and Vermont Studio Center Residency (Johnson, VT).

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