Artist
Catherine McCargar Walnut Creek, California

Although originally from the East Coast, Catherine McCargar has been a Californian for many years. Her representative impressionism reflects the California landscape and her world travels. Throughout her portfolio, she creatively plays with her color palette, giving each work her distinct style. She paints regularly in her home studio, and has been a selected member of the San Francisco-based Jade Fon Painters group for over a decade. Through this, she has gained experience painting outside on location in all sorts of weather together with a group of accomplished artists. The experiences, observations, and critiques of that plein air group strongly influence her work today.

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    About The Artist

    Although originally from the East Coast, Catherine McCargar has been a Californian for many years. Her representative impressionism reflects the California landscape and her world travels. Throughout her portfolio, she creatively plays with her color palette, giving each work her distinct style. She paints regularly in her home studio, and has been a selected member of the San Francisco-based Jade Fon Painters group for over a decade. Through this, she has gained experience painting outside on location in all sorts of weather together with a group of accomplished artists. The experiences, observations, and critiques of that plein air group strongly influence her work today.

    Artist Statement

    I work mostly in transparent watercolor. From childhood I have been nearly compelled to make pictures and other forms of art. Over the course of many years, I have found the medium of watercolor to be both practical in use and delightful in results. I am essentially self-taught, and forever learning. As my schedule allows, I paint weekly with a group of plein air artists, convening at a wide range of locations in the San Francisco Bay Area. With these friends I enjoy the atmosphere, at times calm and at times exhilarating, the views, both mundane and extraordinary, the critiques of seasoned artist friends, and the camaraderie of all. The created world is splendidly colorful, and this delights me; I try to find the fleeting brilliance or the muted nuances of color out there that others might not see, and present these discoveries to viewers of my paintings.
    Prior to about 2006 when I began plein air painting, most of my paintings were studio produced works of floral still life or garden subjects. Presently, in addition to botanical motifs, much of my work is the product or by-product of plein air outings, some of it done largely on location, and some of it done in the studio using the plein air work as reference material for larger paintings.
    Where I am not able to paint in my travels, I snap photos of interesting sights, and often use these to create paintings back in the studio. I sometimes accept commission work, and have enjoyed creating a number of landscape pieces for clients who have in mind a particular location, sometimes one in vintage family photos, sometimes a place of personal significance.

    Artist Background


    Bachelor of Science

    Hear What Collectors Say About Catherine's Work

    Catherine McCargar 5/21/2019 | 1:25 AM

    Very excited to report that my painting, "Barn and Beavertails" was selected by jurist Timothy Horn to be the 3rd Place winner in "Around and About Diablo" currently on display at Valley Art Gallery in Walnut Creek, CA. It is a beautiful show (see last post).

    Catherine McCargar 5/8/2019 | 5:49 PM

    Heads up for local art viewing: Valley Art Gallery in Walnut Creek, CA, is hosting an exhibit called "Around and About Diablo," presenting 36 paintings of Mt. Diablo and its surrounding area. Juror of the competition, and nationally acclaimed painter of the California landscape, Timothy Horn, selected two of my paintings to be included in the exhibit, along with those of 29 other artists. All are invited to the Opening Reception on Sunday, May 19th, 1-4 PM. I will be there during that time, and would love to meet you there in person. The show runs from May 18- June 29.

    Catherine McCargar 10/8/2018 | 9:29 PM

    Don, Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. I am so pleased that you are enjoying my paintings! Hope your remodel finishes up nicely...it is always such a great effort, and often, I think, more difficult than one imagines at the beginning. Good for you and your wife to be in the final stages! All my best wishes to you to find the perfect piece or pieces for your home's new look! Since your home is also in Walnut Creek, check out our local Valley Art Gallery's current show, "Art's Up." Several of my watercolors are on display there now. Cheers!

    D Eng 10/8/2018 | 7:42 PM

    Catherine, my wife and I are finalizing a year-long home remodel and currently searching for art to complement our wall colors and furniture, or the other way around! We have been scanning the UGallery site for ideas and happily discovered your gorgeous work! So beautiful! And it was particularly delightful to find we live in the same city! Keep up the incredible work!

    Catherine McCargar 5/31/2018 | 4:15 PM

    Hi Tina, I have a new painting, "Tending the Garden at Blake House, Kensington," on display now at Valley Art Gallery in Walnut Creek. It was selected to be part of the juried show, "Bay Area Life 2018", that is currently being exhibited there. In addition I have several other paintings that can be seen at that gallery. My blog site should keep you posted, cmccargarwatercolor.blogspot.com. Thank you so much for your interest in my work. It brings a smile to my face.

    commentsOasis
    T Tuma 5/31/2018 | 3:08 PM

    Will you be displaying your work at any upcoming events in the East Bay?

    Catherine McCargar 6/18/2017 | 7:14 PM

    I am honored that two of my recent paintings were selected by juror Maria Medua of SFMOMA to be included in the show "Pleasing to the Palette, a Visual Feast" on display from June 30th to August 18th, at the Village Theatre Art Gallery in Danville, CA. If you are in the area, please come by and say hello at the opening reception, Friday, June 30th from 6-8 PM.

    Catherine McCargar 11/9/2016 | 1:58 PM

    Hydrangeas accenting the yellow Victorian will be beautiful. I will check into this, but you can get all your questions answered by clicking on "Commissions" on the UGallery home page and filling out the form there. The Ugallery staff will then guide you through the process.

    J Siqueira 11/8/2016 | 8:20 PM

    What do you charge to commission a painting? I would like it to be full sheet size and I would probably want to wait until spring when the hydrangea's are in bloom in front of the house.

    Catherine McCargar 11/8/2016 | 7:09 PM

    Hi Julie, I know the house you are speaking about; and no, I have not painted it, although I admire it whenever I drive out there. Is it a painting you would want to commission me to do? Catherine

    commentsOn the Trail Early
    J Siqueira 11/8/2016 | 6:30 PM

    Do you have any paintings of the yellow Victorian house on the old lakeville highway in Petaluma?

    Catherine McCargar 10/20/2016 | 1:40 PM

    So good to know that you love the painting, and that it touches a chord with you of visits to your daughter and memories of the sights of San Francisco Bay. Thank you very much for sharing your satisfaction with us. It brings joy to an artist to know a painting is being enjoyed in its new home.

    commentsSan Francisco Skyline from Fort Baker
    A Burke purchased this artwork. 10/20/2016 | 12:23 PM

    This watercolor is so beautiful and I love it. My daughter lives in Sausalito and I have stood on this very spot at Fort Baker many times!

    Catherine McCargar 7/21/2016 | 7:00 PM

    Just want to say a warm "thank you" to the UGallery staff for their "curator pick" special recognition of my latest work "Green Valley Spring." I enjoyed painting it; so glad you like it.

    Catherine McCargar 5/27/2016 | 8:06 PM

    Thank you so much, I'm pleased you enjoy my work. Yes, I often work larger than the pieces that are currently on display at UGallery. I believe that a 24" x 48" watercolor painting would have to be produced from a roll of watercolor paper in order to get the long width. A standard full sheet of watercolor paper is 15" x 22". I have a landscape piece of that size in progress now. I have in my studio a number of finished pieces available in 18" x 24" size. The largest work I have done is 24" x 36", another paper size I found available. I used it for several commissioned pieces. I have purchased a piece of watercolor board, a nice firm surface, which is 30" x 40", and I am looking forward to working on it sometime soon. Remember that watercolor work usually is matted, and the mat adds significantly to the final framed size of a piece. I would love to know which of my paintings are you favorites.

    commentsPath to Castle Rock
    C Moore 5/27/2016 | 3:17 PM

    Catherine, do you do any larger pieces such as 24" x 48" for example? You are talented from toes to head.

    Catherine McCargar 8/15/2015 | 8:30 PM

    Thank you for your inquiry. The short answer is, I think, no, but I do have a couple of Petaluma (a small vineyard panorama, and one of cows!) in my studio. A new exciting larger vineyard piece called "Sonoma Red" is currently being exhibited in a national juried show, but scheduled to be returned to me on the 24th. I love to paint these areas, and I don't live far from Napa, so I would consider doing a commissioned work for you. Alternatively, you can let me know what you would like to see, and I just might pop out there and post some new work for you later!

    J Anzelc 8/15/2015 | 7:34 PM

    I'd like to know if you have any watercolor paintings of the Napa valley

    Catherine McCargar 7/13/2015 | 1:30 AM

    I am so glad that you like my painting of Pillar Point Harbor. Maybe you know the coast around Half Moon Bay, and that it is often foggy there. I've done several paintings in the area, and they are all of misty scenes.

    commentsPillar Point Harbor
    A Wright 7/12/2015 | 2:43 PM

    I really like this painting - it captures the harbor and old pier on a rare sunny day as the fog creeps in.

    Catherine McCargar 1/31/2015 | 3:11 PM

    Thank you for your kind comment. The autumn scene there at the vineyard, with the fiery fall foliage was very inspiring.

    commentsView from Viansa
    bigdonlid693@gmail.com 1/31/2015 | 9:14 AM

    This piece was done by a very skilled artist. It is beautiful!

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