I was brought up on the West Coast of Scotland. Our house looked out onto the deep, dark waters of Loch Lomond. My father had a boat called 'Flying Fish' and used to take me mackerel fishing on Loch Fyne, a sea loch on the other side of the mountain behind our house. Is this where my love of the sea and of sea life comes from?
From 1976 to 1978 I studied drawing and painting in Florence under Nerina Simi and continued to work throughout the early '80's.
In 1985 I went to live in the South West of France with my family where we brought up four daughters and I painted landscapes, the vines above our house, and still life for 18 years. In 1998 I started trips to the Atlantic and the Mediterranean coast painting large canvases of shells and fish. I wanted to pursue my interest further so we went to live on the coast in Catalonia from 2003-2005. Here I studied shoals of fish swimming on the inside of the waves very close to the beach. I find fish so beautiful, those shining scales the way they seem to refract the light so that sometimes it is like looking at hundreds of prisms. There is the grace of movement, the wonderfully elegant shapes, the sense of latent energy. I love the way they are of the same planet but from a different world and although they are swimming it is as if they are flying.
In 2005 we moved to Devon and here I have been able to continue my work and my search in recording marine life. I still spend some of the year at my studio in France.
Why do I support the Marine Conservation Society?
I support the MSC because I would like our children, and our children's children to enjoy clean beaches, swim in clean seas, and enjoy fish. So far only a tiny part of our fishing grounds are protected, though it is a simple, proven way of allowing our fish stocks to recover. The MSC champions this which is why I am happy to donate a percentage of any prints sales to them.
'Catherine's paintings combine accurate observation and knowledge of marine species with an expressive fluidity and treatment of paint surface. The strength of these works lies in the subtle observation which underlies her skill at pattern making and layering of the paint surface.'