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Meet Sonoma County Artist Catherine Richardson

Cathy Richardson in studio, photo by Andrew Hume (cropped)

Sonoma County artist Catherine Richardson’s paintings depict abstract, psychological landscapes, imbued with myth, legend, and mystery.

With acrylics or oils on panels she uses gestural strokes, shapes, and figures to evoke the grandeur of landforms, and to demarcate the contrast between the human experience and Earth’s indifference to our existence.

Having grown up near the moors and dales of northern England, Catherine attended Art College in London for her bachelor of fine arts and eventually relocated to California. This experience of belonging to two separate countries has given her a platform with which to examine the greater human experience.

“In missing my own country and culture, the ongoing process of integrating into the USA creates a greater need for me to find the elusive ‘sense of belonging’ while weaving life experiences through the art process,” she said.

For Catherine, culture and landscape are key inspirational sources that are fed by hiking in wild untamed nature — places that are not easily inhabited or tamed by man.

“Collecting imagery and reading about the Arctic and higher latitudes,” she said, “infuses my imagination with thoughts of the edge of survival for man, and the forces nature has over us that we are not privy to.”

Catherine came to Sonoma County in 1998 and considers it a scenic and diverse place to live. She especially appreciates the access to a wide variety of terrain, from dramatic ocean vistas, to Mediterranean-like landscapes, and the many hiking trails.

“There are large and small towns in close proximity to one another creating a rich and diverse network of friends, and neighborhoods,” Catherine explained. “And there is an emphasis on the arts in force here, which serves to influence my work.”

In 2005, Catherine graduated from John F. Kennedy University with a master of fine arts, then was selected to be a recipient of the Sonoma County Emerging Artist Award.

Along with spending regular hours working in her studio, Catherine teaches art workshops in various regional locations.

You can see Catherine’s artwork in these upcoming shows:
Santa Rosa City Council Chambers, Nov. 22, 2016, through Jan. 12, 2017
Spinster Sisters, Santa Rosa, Dec. 3, 2016, through Jan. 10, 2017.

Her work can also be seen at the SFMOMA Artist Gallery, Fort Mason, San Francisco; on her website, and in her studio by appointment.

Read more about the Sonoma County arts and culture. 

1. Right - "Velvet Edge” by Catherine Richardson
2. Left - Catherine Richardson paiting

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