I paint because I
must, and there’s no other explanation for it.
This is what I’m created to do.
One of the wonderful things about painting in watercolors is its
expressive nature. When we are “in the
zone,” things happen! The colors fuse in
unpredictable ways, beautiful mixtures of black and gray can occur spontaneously
and we can create the effects of light.
Watercolorists can become master manipulators of light, as we “bump”
values and color intensity against that white paper.
I find myself painting figures and
scenes of people relating and I try to convey a sense of humor whenever I can.
My paintings of people are generally done in the studio, after I’ve taken a
series of photographs to work from. I
then work out my value system in the sketchbook and begin the drawing from
there. I often paint under washes first,
because I believe that they give my paintings a “glow” and, to me, a watercolor
painting should have that transparent, luminosity that makes it jump off the
page. I will continue to investigate
methods of making transparent paint glow.
My still life scenes are painted in the studio. I believe that flowers present an opportunity
to paint light and they must be painted from life.
enjoy painting any subject that creates a challenge for me. Night time scenes, vases filled with water,
reflections in the rain: these are the
difficult topics for the painter to re-create and it’s a joy for me to learn how
to paint them in a transparent medium.
When I teach watercolor painting, I meet many “perfectionists.” I think that many students are attracted to
the medium because it is so difficult to conquer and the challenge makes us
another one of my passions. Please
contact me if your organization would like me to teach a watercolor
workshop. I’m a big believer in
developing a strong foundation in the basics.
There are a lot of interesting techniques out there, and I teach those,
too, but in the end, I try to encourage students to build strong skills because
wherever I travel, I see talented students who are struggling because they
weren’t taught the basics. It is my
philosophy that once a painter has those basics down in a masterful way, they
can paint anything in watercolors! I
will be hosting a trip to Tuscany from May 28 – June 4, of 2011 and you can
receive more information about that trip at www.TuscanRC.com. Your organization can see a sample of me
teaching at www.monkeysee.com (type in the word watercolors.)
I like to use Trekell brushes for my fine brush
work. Brush numbers 1 – 5 are sitting on
my studio table right now. There are many abstract forms and shapes within one
of my paintings and the smaller Trekell brushes are excellent for painting these
areas. These small brushes are also
terrific for painting the delicate details of flowers and the intricacies of
Catherine Hillis has painted all her life, winning numerous awards and honors at
competitive shows regionally and nationally.
Mrs. Hillis primarily paints in watercolors, including busy street
scenes, intricate florals, and her favorite, the historic sites near her home on
the Blue Ridge in Northern
The hallmarks of her work are rich color and a touch of humor. She has
been honored to paint abroad, most recently in Europe and
During the summer of 2007,
Mrs. Hillis painted in Dinan, France, having been
awarded a grant and status as resident artist by “Les Amis de la Grande Vigne.”
Mrs. Hillis has been selected to serve
as “Artist in Residence” at Hot
Springs National Park in
Arkansas during the summer of 2010.
A painting by Mrs. Hillis’
was selected for the book “Best of
American Watercolorists, 2007”
and she garnered second place in watercolors for the state of Virginia in 2005,
her work being published in the book, “Best of Virginia Artists and Artisans, 2005;” her biography is
included in “Who’s Who Among American Women, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.”
Four of her paintings were selected as
the cover art for the 2006 national journal of the American Speech, Language and
Hearing Association and, in September of 2006, her article “Ten Tools for Better
Watercolors” was published in American
Artist Magazine (www.myamericanartist.com). She has a
teaching video available at www.monkeysee.com (Learn How to Paint in Watercolors) and is an artist
representative for Trekell Watercolor Brush Company. She has earned signature membership in five
regional and national watercolor organizations.
Telephone: 703-431-6877 P.O. Box 41
Email: email@example.com Round Hill,
"Ten O' Clock Appointment" copyrighted by Catherine Hillis“The Pedicure” copyrighted by Catherine
Hillis“Gershwin and 50th
Street” copyrighted by Catherine
Hillis"Last Day" copyrighted by Catherine Hillis“ Vino Biancho de la
Casa” copyrighted by Catherine Hillis