CATHERINE ARNOLD

bio
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I'm from Cheshire, in the Northwest of England. After receiving my bachelor's degree, I moved to the US to study painting at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I graduated from the M.F.A program in 1991. 

For several years, I divided my time between Chicago - where I painted portraits and large compositions in my studio - and the west of Ireland, where I went every summer to paint landscapes. I loved painting ancient oak forests, rough seas and boulders engulfed in moss. 

In 1997, I traveled to Kentucky as an artist-in-residence at the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest. I spent several months living in a cabin in the woods, interpreting the extraordinary richness of the natural world around me. The area appealed to me so much that I moved to nearby Louisville after completing the residency. I explored the similarities between the landscapes of Kentucky and the west of Ireland; in each place the foliage is abundant and intensely green and both share a quality of saturation. In Ireland, the external world is saturated with water, in Kentucky, with light. 
I returned to Ireland in 2001 to attend the Cill Rialaig Center, an artist's retreat located in a former famine village which is set in a beautiful, wild part of County Kerry. My paintings focused on the rock formations of the cliffs, and the muted colors and slippery textures of tide pools at the edge of the ocean.

Later in 2001, I moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where I enjoyed painting the long sinuous grasses and the constantly shifting colors along the shores of lake Michigan. In 2006, I moved to Central Florida. Since arriving, I've been observing and painting a remarkable area of wild land. I'm seeking to interpret the way light polishes the trunks of smooth-barked trees and seems to vibrate off the pale, sun-reflecting ground. I've also begun a figurative series based on a local carnival. 

In 2014 I moved to Pennsylvania, to the Brandywine Valley.

My paintings have been exhibited throughout the United States and Ireland. I've taught at many institutions along the way, including The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.