Downloading From The Universe

Cate Whittemore "Where Do Ideas Come From? Palette" 2017
Cate Whittemore   2017     “Where Do Ideas Come From? Palette”    

Presented at The Anderson Center, Red Wing, MN  There Is A Ladder: Reaching for the Unknown/ an exhibition of the early stages of original creative work


I am a painter who often prefers my palettes ~ the surfaces on which I mix paint color ~ because they  contain juicy freedom and immediacy, making them more alive to me.  

color mixing
Cate Whittemore   palette / color mixing

My preference for my palettes led me to surprising results ~ I began to explore the instability and fluid logic of the materiality of paint,  simultaneously while trying to paint the massively gorgeous landscapes of Northern California, where I was then.    I printed my color explorations on dye-infused aluminum, so they could be placed IN the landscape, as indestructible as Coke cans.  I convinced a metal shop to bend them, so they could be freestanding ~ to install in a landscape.   

"Mermaid's Book" Cate Whittemore 2015
Cate Whittemore   “Mermaid’s Book”   2015

I also often prefer my notebooks, as much or more  than the art work they support.  The more scrawled-upon and splattered they are, the better I like them.  I prefer being in the realm of possibility ~ before things congeal into reality~ that zone of spaciousness and potential where I can tune in to the frequency of infinite possibility ~ a sort of downloading from the universe.    It is a risky, uncertain, suspended place, without guarantee, full of doubt, fiasco,  and indefensible experiment ~ all of which I prefer to the methodical, the safe, the known. 

I wondered what it might be like to exhibit that realm of investigations, by showing sketchbooks and works-in-progress, to present projects closer to the chaotic end of coherence continuum, to demonstrate creativity germinating.

 The Anderson Center is itself a REAL result of experimenting in the realm  possibility.  Dr. Alexander Pierce Anderson, The Anderson Center’s ancestral founder and muse, invented puffed wheat.  Included in this unusual exhibition are his notes and an experimental piece of machinery.   

Cate Whittemore "Egg" watercolor 2016
Cate Whittemore “Where Do Ideas Come From? Egg” watercolor 2016