Cathy Nichols

Cathy Nichols, encaustic artist.

Cathy Nichols, encaustic artist.

In 2014, I moved to Asheville, North Carolina from New York on a quest to survive and thrive as full time artist.  Yet, my commitment to the artistic life began several years earlier when I pinned up Ghandi's quote, "become the change you seek from the world" next to a 4x4 foot canvas and tore up my applications to law school.

I had tried many "legitimate" professions -- scholar, teacher, PR professional -- before staring down that blank canvas in my living room. Yet I was still the same girl in the back of math class staring out the window daydreaming. Try as I may, I could not turn my eyes back to the lesson plan. So I gave myself a blank canvas and permission to fill it up with what I really wanted to see.

Since then, my paintings have become a place for me to restore the sense of wonder, love and freedom, I remembered from childhood. They are a place to daydream, and a space left open for magic. I like to use all kinds of “non-regulation” stuff in my paintings: fire-tempting beeswax cooked on a hotplate, torn paper, melted oil sticks and song lyrics. Growing up, my grandmother called me her "Sunshine Girl," and maybe this is why I can also never resist sprinkling in a few rhinestones at the last minute. Plus, let’s face it, glitter is fun.

My paintings are little packages of joy shipped out from me to you.