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Cathy Tabbakh

Cathy is a French painter with a passion for the mesmerising power of colour. She first studied textile design and fine art then a few years later art history and archaeology – both in Lyon. She currently lives and works between France and the UK.

What inspires your work as an artist? I get inspired by so many different sources…It can be an image I saw online, a book, a magazine, a garden, a shop, an exhibition interiors, studios, literally everywhere! It simply depends on what my mind has been attracted to. I save a lot of images that inspire me and dig in the file when I don’t know what to paint.

Who are your biggest influences? I would say David Hockney, Henri Matisse and Jonas Wood. As I paint mainly still-life’s or “botanical portraits” as I like to call them, these three artists are a major source of inspiration. I love everything about their work, most particularly their use of colour, composition and texture.

What does your work mean to you? I feel extremely privileged to be able to paint every day, and to be free in what I paint. Art is definitely a therapy for me, there’s an indescribable feeling when you reach an alpha state and simply forget everything else. I couldn’t feel happy without painting, I have to!

What techniques do you use? I usually mix a lot of different media equally on paper and canvas, sometimes primed or not. I mainly use ink, oil, acrylic, oil pastels, watercolour, felt tip, it really depends on the textures and effects I want to create. I used to work on quite flat surfaces, very 2D, but for about a year I have been exploring thicker and freer brush strokes. Allowing me a full sense of freedom and not think about lines. However, I also often paint in a clean and detailed way. I simply love to explore in my own way. I’m thinking of trying collages and linocuts in the future.

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