Catherine McCargar | Artist Profile Photo
Catherine McCargar
Walnut Creek, California
Impressionist artist Catherine McCargar expresses her deep admiration of nature through landscape paintings of Northern California and her travels. While she is well-versed in a range of media, her preferred medium for painting is watercolor. “Most of my art is an extension of and a response to my deep appreciation for the world,” says Catherine. As a self-taught artist, she continuously learns and engages in weekly sessions with a group of plein air painters convening in the San Francisco Bay Area. Besides the great outdoors, Catherine paints in her home studio, filled with natural light and occasional clutter. Beyond painting, she enjoys tending to her garden, cooking seasonal vegetables she gets from the produce market, and hosting small dinner parties and get-togethers with her husband.
Studio Photo 1 Studio Photo 2 Studio Photo 3

Artist Statement

I work primarily in transparent watercolor. From childhood, I have been nearly compelled to make pictures and other forms of art. Over many years, I have found the watercolor medium 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 San Francisco Bay Area locations. With these friends, I enjoy the atmosphere, at times calm and exhilarating, the mundane and extraordinary views, 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. Before about 2006, when I began plein air painting, most of my paintings were studio-produced works of floral still life or garden subjects. In addition to botanical motifs, much of my work is the product or by-product of plein-air outings, some mainly done on location and some in the studio using the plein-air work as reference material for larger paintings. Where I cannot 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 several landscape pieces for clients who have in mind a particular location, sometimes one in vintage family photos, a place of personal significance.
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