I moved to Sedona in the 1980's with my husband and fellow-artist, Paul Gazda.
Growing up on the Great Lakes – exploring forests and meadows nearby, and living on a houseboat during my childhood summers – I've been drawing and painting my entire life. It is from the natural world that I derive inspiration.
Before obtaining a degree in psychology, I studied at The New School of Art (Three Schools) and Ontario College of Art with Dennis Burton, Bob Markle, Diane Pugen, David Bolduc, Ross Mendes, Nobuo Kubota, Gordon Rayner, Graham Coughtry, John MacGregor and Ma Shiu-Yu, among others. Many years later, abstract painting with Paul Sloggett and an intensive workshop with Joyce Weiland inspired me to move beyond traditional methods and find my own path, artistically. Eugenia Everett, of Sedona, became a close friend and sculpting mentor in the late 1980s. I was honored to assist in creating her monumental sculpture "Aria", installed May 2000 at The Lodge in Sedona, Arizona.
Primarily a painter, I love to combine representational and abstract elements, usually with experimental mediums. Often my pieces invite the viewer to actively interact and participate with the art. Materials and technique play an important role in all of my pieces. An avid photographer for over 50 years, I photograph animals, birds, plants, insects, reptiles and landscapes to use as reference material for my paintings and sculptures.
My work has been displayed in numerous national shows and museum venues including the internationally renowned Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum's "Birds In Art". Professional affiliations have included International Friends of Transformative Art (IFTA), the Society of Layerists in Multi–Media (SLMM), Northern Arizona Watercolor Society (Signature Member), Sedona Visual Artists Coalition (founding member) and the Arizona Chapter of the Colored Pencil Society of America (founding member), among others.
In 2008, the Woodson Art Museum chose my painting "Upstream" for the "Birds In Art" exhibition poster, as well as for their advertisements in Southwest Art Magazine and the Chicago-area newspapers. A couple of months after the opening of the show, they called to let me know the poster had sold out...faster than any other poster in 'Birds In Art' history! "Upstream" was also selected as one of 50 works for the museum's traveling national "Birds In Art" tour throughout 2009. From May 9-August 16, 2009, the Frank H. McClung Museum in Knoxville, Tennessee featured "Upstream" on their exhibition postcard and banner.
In addition to numerous Best of Show awards, in 2012, I was delighted to learn my artwork "Awakening" won all three 'Best of Show', 'People's Choice' and the 'Members Choice' awards in the 2012 Northern Arizona Watercolor Society's (NAWS) Experimental Watermedia exhibit. I was told it was the first time in the history of NAWS that one artist had won all three awards.
Creating out of my home studio, I'm honored to have my artwork in private collections throughout the United States and Canada.
Musically, Cathy performs with The Eclectics (of Northern Arizona) – a trio which plays a wide variety of music ranging from rock and pop,
to folk, blues and jazz. She co-founded and co-hosts Village Ukulele People – a diverse and inclusive ukulele group which meets weekly and
performs benefit concerts in the community each month.