Gallery: November 2017

Catherine McMillan

Artist Bio

Catherine has always been an artist, a traveller and a night owl. After Art & Design studies at MacEwan University, her desire for travel and her passion for drawing people took her wandering around the world as a street artist. Alongside her travels, Catherine studied fine art and painting for many years under the mentorship of American painter Eileen Raucher Sutton (whose past students also include Brian Selznick—author and illustrator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret). 

When Catherine and her husband Mark finally moved back to Edmonton, her hometown, she started her company called The Quirky Art Cafe and spent many years drawing live at events, teaching art classes, hosting art & wine nights and gallery shows, doing illustration work and serving coffee in her cute little shop conveniently located right across the street from the elementary school that her three children attended. While she thoroughly enjoyed all of the aspects of her creative business, Catherine always knew that her true passion was painting and so in January 2014, she closed her café and began to paint full time.

She approaches her paintings intuitively, beginning the conversation with thick textured gesso followed by layers of fluid acrylic paint repeatedly applied and wiped off until a luminous colour relationship is created. Sometimes she starts with a clear destination in mind, but often her ideas come out of the work itself; an authentic, emotional response to some unplanned creative interaction. 

Catherine is just as inspired by the real people in her life, her daily physical surroundings and the places she travels to as much as she is by the figures, the words and the magical settings in her imagination, thus forming the constitutive elements of her work. With incredible texture, rich colour, and her own unique sense of perspective, she manages to seamlessly consolidate these separate worlds in a way that entices us to accompany her in a new version of reality.