- Guest Artist -
Welcome, Cathy ...
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR ARTISTIC JOURNEY.
I am a farmer’s wife from rural Qld and started painting when the oldest kids went to kindergarten. I had intended to play tennis while they went to kindy but the week they started lady’s morning tennis stopped. The following week I read an ad in the local paper and it sort of leapt out at me saying “art lessons were starting in Bell” and at exactly the same starting and finishing times as kindergarten. So I went and the rest as they say is history.
WERE YOU GOOD AT DRAWING AS A KID?
I thought I was! I was one of those kids that were in trouble with the teacher for cartooning them or fellow class mates and I found solace in my quite time while sketching. I remember being in so much trouble with a teacher in Grade 10 for drawing instead of working and now she owns one of my paintings and is a great supporter of my work.
WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME AN ARTIST?
I was born to be an artist; it is in my physic, how I interpret the world, the landscapes, wildlife and how I analyse everything that I see around me. It is my enjoyment to study light, movement and the effect of one object onto another. I became an artist when I accepted that this is a real profession and not a just a hobby and when my artwork started winning competitions and selling well.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING AN ARTIST?
I enjoy the ‘me time’ when I’m alone in full concentration on what I am working on, this is when I produce my best artwork with no distractions.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING AN ARTIST?
Making a quality living that is equitable to another profession when there has been an equal amount of study and money spent to make yourself a professional in your chosen career. For example the income between an artist and an accountant is not comparable but art is often seen as a hobbyist profession and the income is regrettably low because of this. If only art was taken seriously and payment for the product produced was equal to professional standing then being an artist would become a solid worthwhile income making profession.
DO YOU WORK FOR YOURSELF, OTHERS OR BOTH?
With my husband, I help run a cattle business, a concrete pumping business and a professional art business teaching students and marketing my artworks.
WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME AN ARTIST?
A beauty therapist owning my own business at the age of sixteen then marriage and motherhood.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
Being invited to have an exhibition in New York City at the Agora Gallery in December 2012
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
An exhibition in June/July on the Bunya Mountains at the Bunya Forest Gallery
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEDIUM?
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
The sunlight and how it can transform an ordinary object into an item of stunning beauty, our unique flora and fauna and the rural lifestyle that I live with my family.
WHAT DO YOU PREFER TO PAINT OR ILLUSTRATE?
Either as long as I am creating artwork
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR EMERGING ARTISTS?
Believe in yourself and work really hard with no excuses to be the best that you can be at your chosen style.
DO YOU SUFFER FROM ARTIST’S BLOCK?
No never because I live in such a beautiful visually stimulating area.
DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED SCHEDULE?
Yes I’m organised with painting days, office days and farm work days.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE PLACE TO WORK?
On the kitchen table! I have a studio but I prefer to work where I can look at the painting while cooking or cleaning and I often pick up on the little things that need changing.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN YOUR WORK?
Loving the finished product and knowing I have worked really hard to produce the best that I could possibly have done at that time.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE ARTIST / ILLUSTRATOR AND WHY?
Robert Bateman, a Canadian wildlife artist who paints in acrylics and is a master of his work. He was the first man years ago that I found who painted wildlife in acrylics and the art world people took his work seriously not cheapened it because it wasn’t in oils. My son is a severe asthmatic so I couldn’t paint in oils and I found Mr Bateman to be an inspiration to me and to my work.
WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED?
“Wow! It looks like you could walk right into that painting.”
WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED?
I really don’t know as I don’t listen to any negative comments and if people say them to me I don’t let them stay in my mind.
WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
Always! I live my life through the brush; painting is the dairy of my life, where I have been, what I have seen and how I felt at the time.
HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU ILLUSTRATED?
None but maybe one day as an author has approached me to illustrate a book she is working on.
HAVE YOU WON ANY PRIZES OR AWARDS?
Yes quite a lot
WHAT DID THEY MEAN TO YOU?
I really appreciate the recognition by a judge but I love when the ordinary person wants to part with their hard earned cash to have one of my paintings on their walls that they can enjoy every day. That person has connected with my artwork and this is precious.
OTHER THAN DRAWING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
Being with my family and creating a beautiful space in the garden and home
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO ALL WORLD LEADERS IF YOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY?
God is in control of everything and one day every knee shall bow and every mouth shall confess He is Lord, and then they will see and regret their actions.
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
An early morning walk in the garden with a cup of coffee then heading out to paint plein air, listening to the bird song and enjoying the nature around me.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
To continue to learn and better myself in my artwork and meet more wonderful people through the commissions they order.
HAVE YOU MET SOME GREAT PEOPLE ALONG THE WAY?
A lot of my clients have now become friends and this has been the most wonderful joy to me.
HOW DO YOU PROMOTE YOURSELF?
Through the internet via online galleries, Facebook and my websites.
WHAT HAS BEEN MOST THE MOST SUCCESSFUL PROMOTION?
Facebook has been amazing with people ordering and buying paintings through my art page https://www.facebook.com/cathymcclellandfineart.com.au?ref=hl
DO YOU MENTOR OTHERS?
My children I mentor to be useful grown adults in this world with a positive confident outlook on the future. I am also working and teaching a small group at the Bell Art Gallery.
ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?
Without the internet I would never have been able to go as far as I have with my art, from being a farmer’s wife who paints a bit to now being a member of the International Guild of Realism and having paintings selected two years in a row to be included into the ‘International Contemporary Artists’ art book volume V and VI, with an exhibition in New York and being recognised on the world stage as an Australian artist. I am in constant amazement that these opportunities have come to me and am very grateful that I have been able to supplement our income on our farm doing what I love to do, creating art.
M: 0448 191 669
Clancy's comment: Amazing work. Well done, and good luck, Cathy!