At the age of five Cathy saw the
Nutcracker Suite ballet and was awed
by the magic and stage colors of the performance. Her love for
magical subjects was born, and the theme of fantasy and enchantment
weaved its way into her artwork. She studied illustration at the
Academy of Art College, in San Francisco. In 1979 she moved to the
north shore of Lake Tahoe for the summer and never left. Lake Tahoe's beautiful environment is a constant inspiration for Cathy, bringing her close to heart of nature. The mountains, water, forest, moon, animals and stars feed her creative spirit. At Lake Tahoe she has freelanced as an illustrator, art director, designer, muralist and
painter. Her art interests have gone in many different directions from handmade paper creations, watercolor/dye illustrations, paintings, hand painted tapestries and murals. While painting murals she developed her own technique combining acrylic paint, using both airbrush and hand to enhance and detail her work, giving her creations a feeling of depth and the soft magical beauty of nature.
Her work encompasses many themes, from the ethereal and magical, to animals, scenes of Lake Tahoe to lush jungles, deserts and places in between. Cathy also enjoys making sculptures of mystical beings made from handmade paper, cloth and found objects. All her creations have a feeling of the magical weaving through them. Whether it be a mural, sculpture or painting, her artwork reflects her love of nature and mythical subjects.
"I work in various painting
mediums, mostly acrylic, watercolor and
dyes. I've made handmade paper sculptures and done some printmaking.
Sometimes I think there are five different artists in me because my
style, subjects and ideas keep evolving in different directions. I would say the themes that pull it all together are my love for nature, the moon and the stars, the magical and fantasy. I love to paint big as well as I love to paint small detailed work. My colors can be bright magical stage colors to moody blues or anything in
between. When I start a piece of art, it always seems to take on a life of it's own. The anticipated colors can change as well as the mood of the piece. Basically, I never really know how a piece will turn out. I learn from each art creation I do. Like life its a never ending journey."
"Nature and the mystery
of the universe play a big part with my
inspiration. I like to weave the two together in my creations, hoping
to inspire others to enjoy the beauty of nature and the wonderful
creatures around us. Our world is full of miracles and magic. we just
need to recognize the beauty and truth of this, and bring it into our
lives and into our hearts. I hope that my artwork can be a
contribution to others in that direction."
- Cathy McClelland
To contact Cathy you may email her at: