Artist Spotlight – Catherine Fitzgerald
We had a chat with Catherine Fitzgerald, one of our artists here at Artist Lane. We spoke to her about the creative process that goes into creating her beautiful artwork and where she finds inspiration. Relax and enjoy our spotlight on Catherine, and be sure to shop her collection here.
WHAT ARE YOUR PASSIONS OTHER THAN ART?
Travel, Music, Sailing, Swimming.
My passion is greatly rewarded by helping a group of people at Arts Project of Australia to bring out the best in their creative abilities. These artists have pure/raw talents, whom have never had lessons due to their disabilities, nor distracted in any form with their thinking or been told how to create a piece. This is the ultimate and most rewarding form of art, which I am grateful to experience.
IS ART SOMETHING YOU HAVE BEEN INTERESTED IN FROM A YOUNG AGE? WHEN DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN IT?
I have been interested in art from a very young age. I received my first art prize at the age of 12 years old
My mother was a very creative person. I had many opportunities to share with her.
I became more interested during my early years at school with high praise from others with my projects, posters, designing layouts and even clothes. I always aimed to do things differently, which have not been seen before. This has been my motto ever since!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE OF ART?
My favourite piece of art is a painting – Titled ‘Two men sitting on a bench’ Artist – Sally Joubert
IS THIS YOUR FULL TIME JOB? WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE ART?
Painting is not only my full time job it is an obsession, an extension of who I am which defines my life and happiness to those around me. I paint almost every day, being involved in commission works, providing paintings for galleries, invitations to show my works at exhibitions, and donating works to charities of my choice.
I do not remember much of what I did before art because my interest began from a very young age. It was difficult for me to keep up with my school work because I missed out on so much with my lack of hearing. With Art it was my escape. What I miss out on with “hearing”, I gain in what I “see”. To have art lessons would be like someone telling me how to think. My brain has been programmed from a young age, my artistic abilities has been protected and not been influenced by others.
My hearing, or lack of it has contributed toward who I am as an Artist. To enjoy what I see, and not be distracted by what I hear.
HOW DID YOU GET INSPIRATIONS FOR NEW PIECES?
I get inspirations for new pieces in my “head’. It may be something I saw, desperate to put on paper or canvas before it goes away. I would often wake up at night with a flash showing an idea, then the need to write it down on the spot.
I was a member of The National Trust of Victoria for many years. This began my interest in old historical buildings, particularly the stories behind them. I enjoy dong the ornate details where others often miss. I painted these in watercolours, a difficult medium but the most exciting one to do.
I then experimented with Oils and Acrylics to capture the true colours of Italy and France. The historical buildings over there became more exciting. I travel regularly to Italy and France. The people, their lifestyle speak for itself. The colours of the buildings, may it be paint scraping off, rough mortar patches, pipes going in all directions, even holes in the walls. I paint as if I am there. The rich cultures of Italy and France never leave me.
My husband and I often escape to our boat on the coastal waters. We go sailing, staying days at a time. Its calm and peaceful, times to reflect and recharge. I often like to change subjects in what I paint. I am driven to make my work more interesting this way.
WHAT PROCESS GOES INTO CREATING A NEW PIECE?
The process in painting a new piece fortunately comes easy to me. Freedom of expression is like a gift, the inspiration flows from one painting to another.
I also have a photographic memory when it comes to subjects I am painting, this enables me to see things in the finest detail. These images are constantly evolving in my mind. Once I’m satisfied with the end vision, it is then put on canvas.
I am self-taught, and paint most days in my studio where I lose all track of time. I’m not distracted by radio, music, computers etc. Then sometimes a bird lands on the studio balcony. I often wonder if so much happiness is allowed!
WHAT IS THE MOST INDISPENSABLE ITEM IN YOUR STUDIO?
Apart from my easel, a card from my mother who has since passed, with a message…..
.”Once in a while someone touches our lives, leaving us with watercolour moments that stay in our hearts forever”
Regularly I have coffee, it’s a lifestyle distraction from the studio, and a vision is formed. I have miniature café chairs, which I turn at every angle for shadows etc…
Photos of my family, from whom I get all the encouragement to continue painting even when I should be getting dinner!
DO YOU HAVE ANY STYLING TIPS FOR PEOPLE LOOKING TO USE YOUR PIECE IN THEIR SPACES?
I did interior decorating and still have my own style, no matter what period, style etc., colour plays a very important part. Because of the wide range of colours I paint, there are many options that will suit most rooms. There are various subjects also, this depends on different tastes etc.
I have been involved many times in Commission works for clients who tell me exactly what they want. I like to find out from them what colours are in the room where they plan to hang the painting. I’m also very interested also where the light is entering the room.
My best advice for anyone who acquires any of my paintings is to look at what attracts your attention first, but choose what you love. I believe it is best to surround the painting by no more than two colours in a room. The painting can be the third colour…or colours!
WHAT CAN READERS LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING FROM YOU?
My works are becoming more modern, and I express myself more freely. There is no escape, it’s exciting. LOOK OUT!!!!
Readers should see more interesting works coming from me. Colours will be softer, such as peach/salmon combined with greys and whites. I will also be doing two tone works with a different contrast colour as a focal point. In the end it’s not about subjects or colours, it’s not about what is a good painting, it’s about what is the most interesting painting. It’s up to the viewer.
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT SUNDAY?
My perfect Sunday is when time is not a factor.
When friends and family come over for a long lunch, forget the dishes, time together is precious.
Going for long walks.