Catherine Coulson

Artwork & Inspirations.

About

Welcome to my website, where i hope to share some of the inspiration behind my artwork.

Since earliest childhood, i have had an enduring interest in nature, first memories of a dove at my bedroom window, the duckpond, a little patch of garden at our block of flats. As a small child, my favourite overgrown river walk, the birdlife, fallen-branch bridges and mesmerising creatures within the water. I can remember fishing for sticklebacks and catching one in a jar, only to find out appallingly that i would have to feed it worms, and deciding that it was better to release it back to its natural habitat. At my next home, a pond – the glorious delight of frogspawn, and the glimpse of orange undersided newts. An incident with a builder who used pond water in his bucket instead of walking to the tap, and insisting on rescuing each individual tadpole before he could continue! As a slightly older child, hours spent playing in the woods and downs along the road, trips to nature reserves and national trust land. My first holiday near Glenshee started an obsession with Scotland, and a lifelong quest to find true wildernesses – a seemingly harder goal year by year. As soon as i passed my driving test i travelled around the country photographing and visiting mountains, rivers and forests as remote and unspoilt as possible. Each time, driving back through towns, cities, and even farmland made me infinitely sad at how much wilderness we have destroyed.

The other big interest in my life has always been art – i suppose more specifically the way in which feelings and emotions can be expressed and communicated to others. I have always felt compelled to write stream-of-consciousness narratives and poetry which has probably made me more observant of detail and complexity in the world around me, and more sensitive to the aesthtetics of my surroundings. I am drawn to artwork that depicts nature and atmosphere and somehow represents the emotions that an environment has in itself produced. I am intrigued how certain artists use un-representational colours in such a way as to enhance them, and and make them surprisingly seem more realistic.

My deep passion is for natural habitats and the ecosystems that operate within them. I love to observe the detail and texture of a landscape surface close up, and also to understand the emotional significance of distance, light and colour.

My work process involves spending time in wild places, observing and photographing the locations. I then work on a number of studies at my home studio, across a variety of mediums, primarily working with oil paint and felt.

To supplement my visual arts degree, i have studied oil painting techniques, abstraction and expressionism at the Norfolk School of Art. I exhibit paintings at local spaces and am currently working on a wild places and nature reserves project, and preparing for a solo exhibition of my artwork. I travel around the country looking for wild places to inspire my work, and hope to be able to use my work to help protect these places in the future.

I became interested in felt making about five years ago, finding it to be a good compliment to painting. I was taught by felt artist and art psychotherapist Linda Irving and this year we are teaching felt workshops together. Some of my felt is for sale in a local shop, and i occasionally do craft fairs and commissions.

I have been part of a weekly group at local pottery The End Room, run by ceramic artists Steve and Barbara Leaning for the last couple of years, making pots, lamps and sculptures.

I enjoy writing and poetry, and as well as my own art blog, i write a gardening blog for our gardening business.

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