Cathy O’Keefe is a fine artist with a background in sculpture, drawing, digital design, painting, and most recently, monotypes. She has worked in these various media since she was old enough to hold a crayon. Over the years, Cathy contributed drawings and paintings in a wide variety of private and public collections. She has taken some art courses and workshops at the Art Student’s League and Pratt in NY, and at Washington Depot Arts and Creative Arts Workshop in CT, among others. But Cathy is primarily self-taught. For many years she has studied art in books, galleries, and museums. She regularly visits the Guggenheim, MoMA, Met, and other museums as well as the galleries in New York. She has spent countless hours at some the world’s greatest museums in Paris, including the Louvre, George Pompidou Centre, and the Rodin Museum. Cathy also studied art wherever her travels took her, from Florence to San Diego.
Cathy worked as a writer and editor over a period of many years in a variety of industries. She retired 12 years ago and since then, has devoted herself to painting. She is a member of the Pleiades Gallery in Chelsea and meets with other artists from the Carter Burden Monotype Workshop every week to create and share their work and ideas with one another. Cathy has a long interest in social justice and has worked both as a volunteer and as a paid worker for a many causes. She helped to start a health care clinic at a soup kitchen in Washington, D.C., acted as a night caretaker for a homeless shelter in New Haven, CT, served as a union organizer for the clerical and technical workers at Yale University, and contributed to housing, mental health, and gun control efforts with her synagogue and Manhattan Together. As an artist, she regularly donates her work to organizations that specialize in social justice and health care for the mentally ill.
Today, Cathy continues to paint in oils and oil sticks. She uses her camera to capture scenes in the City and then reimagine them in paintings. The scenes are only recognizable once you have seen the photograph. They are largely abstract. Sometimes, her paintings just spring from the inside, influenced by things from long ago in her unconscious. She also creates works on paper. Since it is not possible to meet at the Carter Burden Center to use the monotype press and equipment, she is turning to other ways to make monotypes at home using wax paper or gel presses and acrylic ink, oil sticks, oil pastels, acrylic pens, watercolor pencils, and papers of various types, including parts of images from her paintings and collages to express new ideas. Mostly, this is a lot of fun as there are no rules!
Cathy’s goals are to create and stretch her horizons, learning from other artists and the world around her to make beautiful art. She continues to donate her work and looks for other ways that may help alleviate injustices. Full Résumé
Cathy O'Keefe painting in the studio