Morning Excursion-Cathy Tyler

Morning Excursion
18 1/2" x 22 1/2"

Cathy Tyler

Instagram: cathytylerart

My grandmother, Mary Lydia Tabor Lewis, was station agent for the Patterson, Georgia railroad depot from 1918 until 1968. I have fond memories of playing on her typewriter and watching fascinated as she took and sent Morse code on the telegraph key. An article about her, written by my uncle, Walter Berg, can be found here.

The depot was built in the 1830s and converted into a residence in 1984. The reference black-and-white photos for this watercolor, "Morning Excursion," were taken by my mother in 1953 as I joined the kindergarten excursion to Blackshear, Georgia. I was 4 ½ years old. The woman in the back with the white hair and hand shading her eyes is my grandmother.

Many thanks to the Facebook group, Atlantic Coast Line/Seaboard Air Line Railroads Historical Society, for their help with the color of the passenger railroad cars at the time.

Artist Statement
Watercolor is my medium, enhanced by my love of photography. I focus on the natural world and capturing the joy it provides. I’m learning how to weave in historical allusions and the wonder of people discovering nature. Travel fascinates and motivates me and works nicely into painting, both as a source and reflection of that joy and wonder. I travel to explore, experience the world, and paint, then write about it and paint some more!

I enjoy the meditative effect of plein air painting and developing works in the studio. I strive through representational images to capture the tension between fleeting, ephemeral moments and the permanence of rocks, old trees, and oceans.

I hope that my art leads the viewer to experience a moment in time, reminds them of similar experiences of their own, and emboldens them to be present in each hour they’re given.

Cathy comes from southern rural roots, flavored by a childhood traveling with her military family. She attended high school in northern Virginia and the College of William and Mary, where she met a rock musician. After earning a 1971 BS in Math, she enjoyed an IT career with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. She and her husband make their home in Northern Chesterfield, where they reared their two daughters.

She has a passion for a wide variety of artistic expression and has studied black-and-white photography, quilting, and painting. She was a member of the Richmond Camera Club from 1976 through 1985, where she gained valuable insight into composition and the emotional impact of a strong image.

Her medium of choice is watercolor. She has been influenced by the work of Ansel Adams, Georgia O’Keeffe, the arts and crafts movement, and art nouveau. She’s studied with Shelly Betchel Shepherd, Bill Kendrick, and Elli Cox. After a lifetime fascination with painting, sketching, and drawing, in 2013 she joined Bon Air Artist Association and exhibits with the group. In 2020, she joined the Virginia Watercolor Society and is pleased to be invited to show her piece in this year’s annual show.