A Woman Defined

Art & Culture by Mahvash Mossaed

Kathy Butterly: Lots of Little Love Affairs

November 12, 2012

I ask her, “Why do you wear sunglasses indoors?” She says, “The California sun hits your eyes inside, even from behind the large glass windows of a restaurant like this.” I say, “Yes. Maybe it’s true when Laguna Beach’s ocean and the midday sun come together, and we are so close. Here we are, only a few feet away from the waves. You might be right. You would need some kind of protection for your eyes.”
Now here we are – my friend, who is an artist, and I. She is sitting in front of me, sipping on her glass of red wine, ordering salmon, a side of spinach, and cheesecake for dessert in a mid-week afternoon, when every one else is running around and working. I smile at life and say, “Oh, God, life is good. The only problem we two could possibly encounter today could be something as trivial as one of us breaking a nail.” She starts showing me her latest paintings on her iPad. I tell her, “They are amazing! You are so prolific and never stop.” She says, “Yes, and it’s kind of disappointing that you don’t paint any more.” At that comment, I put down my fork and lean it to the side of my almost empty plate, sigh, and with a somewhat sad voice, I say, “That’s true. I have not painted for a long time now.” My friend asks, “But why?” “You know how it is,” I respond. “For a long time, I had things that I really, really had to say. It was like I wanted to stop people on the street and tell them my little stories and my point of views. I was quite persistent on what I wanted to say and they way I wanted to say them too. I wanted to say them loud and clear, through my art. It was important, and it had to be heard. But then, you know, it came to the point that I felt I had said what I had to say and then there was silence. That’s when I opened my art gallery. It was like now I could listen to what other artists had to say.”

She looks at me like she is still processing what I had just said, then she takes another sip from her glass of wine. She looks out again. When her gaze returns to me, she says, “Yes, it’s important for an artist to be loyal and kind of stubborn and persistent to what she has to say and more so to the way she wants to say it.” I answer, “Oh, definitely. You can’t jump here and there. Now, speaking of being persistent in your art, you should check out Kathy Butterly’s exhibition at the Shoshana Wayne Gallery in Santa Monica. The title of the exhibition is ‘Lots of little love affairs’. I went to see it. I like the title, and I like her work. Speaking of love affairs, she definitely has an obsessive love affair with her ceramic forms of colors and shapes. It’s as though she is showing us all the bends, twists, and rings, laughs and cries in her forms and colors. Most artists have a love affair with their art. Some of them are loved back by their lover – their art – and some are rejected, just like in a true love affair. In the case of Kathy Butterly, she definitely is loved by her art. She is very brave with her colors, and she is very emotional with her forms, like she is pouring passion in her ceramic containers right out of her soul. I tell you, you should see the show. I think you would like it.”


Kathy Butterly’s “Lots of little love affairs” is on exhibit from October 20 – December 22, 2012 at the Shoshana Wayne Gallery, located at 2525 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404.

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