Cranbury artist Colleen Cahill will showcase her collection of pastels, watercolors, and mix media pieces throughout October at the Gourgaud Gallery, 23-A N. Main Street.
Cahill will hold an opening for her collection on October 7 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. She said she titled her exhibition “Transitions” because it mirrors her life at this time.
“I hope you enjoy my most recent efforts to translate my emotional vision to two dimensional surfaces,” Cahill said.
The artist said she has appreciated art from a young age.
“I grew up as most children do with my crayons and color pencils doodling and sketching,” Cahill said. “Very soon it became apparent that art was something that I needed to explore.”
She moved on from crayons to oils, eventually taking up ink sketching. Early on in middle school, she said she became enamored with fashion and fashion illustration, and she pursued this direction through high school. Cahill then entered the Maryland Institute of Art in Baltimore, where she took classes in fine art and fashion design.
During college, she got a job at Head Sportswear, a ski wear company, where she assisted a designer.
“This was my first official foray in the fashion industry,” Cahill said. “I loved it all. I was hooked, line, and sinker.”
Cahill finished her fashion degree at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She went on to work as a fashion designer for 15 years in New York, NY and Los Angeles.
While most of her sketching time was spent on clothing, and Cahill had a young family to raise, she said she somehow managed to complete a painting or two in her spare time.
In the mid-ninetiesCahill started to pursue more fine art projects. She began working with a close friend who is a photographer. Cahill said they collaborated on many photo based art projects such as Polaroid manipulations and transfers and painted black and white photos.
In recent years, the artist has been studying watercolors and pastel painting. But she said she would be hard-pressed to narrow down her favorite medium to one choice.
“I love the freedom of water and watercolor paint, the ‘hands on’ messiness of pastels, freezing time and mood with Photography, the endless possibilities of collage and mix media, and I really wish I had the time it takes to paint with oils,” Cahill said.
Her artwork is for sale, with 20 percent of each sale going to support the Cranbury Arts Council and its programs. Cash or a checks can be made out to the Cranbury Arts Council.
Gallery hours are on Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., as well as on the first, third, and last Sunday of the month from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays hours are by appointment only. Head to www.cranbury.org. for more details.