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Deb Catesby


a painting can relate to the real world outside at the same time as to the world of dreams and thinking and emotion that goes on inside the studio and the painter’s head. Its structure, its composition can hold both together in a dynamic tension

a painting can deal with drama and stories, with ideas, with topical events and issues as well as with the visual world. It can have a hinterland, an idea (or series of ideas) which underpin it 

a painting may start with one idea or a particular use of colour or an image or a photograph or a view or a mood or a piece of news or be the result of a long running conversation with other artists


during the initial stages, these elements can be expressed in words so as to find a focus for the work which will follow. This will expose the underlying imagery, the conflicts and the visual ideas which need to be taken account of in the painting

a painting has, as its means, the vibrancy of colour, the luscious quality of oil paint, the twist of a line, the contrast between dark and light, between edge and body, between thick and thin paint, between the broken texture of scratchings and the roughness or smoothness of brush strokes

a painting may sometimes be the result of a physical layering of one painting upon another, earlier, work - a kind of palimpsest of historical workings of paint

a painting might exist on its own or use its relation to other paintings in a sequence to create its full effect







Deb Catesby is a painter and writer. She is interested in the ways writing can enrich visual art

and vice versa.

For the last few years she has been studying Fine Art, gaining a BA from Worcester University

and an MA from the University of Gloucester. Her MA dissertation was on the link between

poetry and painting. She started as a writer, with several plays professionally performed in

the theatre and on Radio 4. Until 2010 she taught Creative Writing to adult learners

or 10 years at the University of Birmingham.  She now writes poetry, drama and prose.

She paints in her studio at Artists Workhouse in Studley in the West Midlands. She is a

founder member of ArtWrite, a group of 10 writers making and performing work alongside

visual artists. More information can be found on their website,

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