Enjoy these whimsically creative and humorous watercolors by artist Catherine McElroy. See more of her paintings by visiting her website.
My journey began in Southern California where all the girls truly were blonde with the exception of me who had frizzy red hair. My earliest memories are of creating things in Sunday school and in Kindergarten with Miss Betty. Going to church and academics were not on my “to do” list, but were tolerated with the reward of art projects.
When Southern California’s population began to explode, I moved to the Southwest where I thrived. In college, I had majored in textile design and was naturally drawn toward buttons. Through interest for buttons, I gained employment as a silversmith’s assistant who specialized in making buttons. After working with him for several years, I established my own jewelry line which sustained my family for fifteen years.
I left the Southwest and relocated to Northern California. Painting started here, almost as a dare. I enrolled in a watercolor class just for fun and the instructor, learning of my occupation said, “This should be quite easy for you.” I didn’t see the correlation between painting and silversmithing, but okay, game on! That was in 1998. In 2002, I closed down my jewelry business and sat down to paint full time. I have been painting ever since.
I am presently a watercolorist and for the past seventeen years I have been learning how to paint. I began mimicking lessons in “How to Paint” books, stoking my woodstove with my “masterpieces” until I developed my own off the wall, whimsical style.
Occasionally, I will paint in photorealism to prove to myself that I am able to paint, all the while conjuring up my next amusing scenario. I love to use animals as my subjects from frogs to elephants.
One of my favorite topics is “Wicked Kitty” (which is inspired by my own wicked black cat). My paintings are bathed in intense vibrant color, while my subjects pose in entertaining and humorous situations that most anyone can relate to.
I am frequently asked where I find inspiration. My inspiration comes from everyday life, conversations, suggestions from excited patrons, and the long drives between art fairs and home. Recently, I have had to start carrying a notebook to jot down the flood of ideas that rush at me. I crave the time to paint them all, but until then, they will just swirl in my head awaiting their turn.
I paint all the time when I am home. I wish I were home more often. For now, we travel the west coast showing my artwork at festivals and being rewarded by the positive response.
Currently, I am working on a line of birthday cards. This new undertaking is turning out to be quite entertaining; some are sweet, some are silly and others are just plain fun.
My goal in life is to spread happiness and my artwork is my medium. I love to laugh and share my laughter with others. If I can make even one person smile while they are looking at my work then I have done my job well. If that person laughs, then I have reached my goal.
Artist Catherine McElroy invites you to follow her on Facebook.
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