Catherine Hillis has painted all her life, winning awards and honors at competitive shows regionally and nationally, earning Signature Membership status in the Southern Watercolor Society, Virginia Watercolor Society, Pennsylvania Watercolor Society, Baltimore Watercolor Society and the Potomac Valley Watercolor Society. During the summer of 2010, the Department of the Interior awarded her a position as Artist in Residence in Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas. One of her paintings was published in “Splash 12,” a collection of 100 American watercolor paintings, in June, 2011; she won the May, 2011, “Creativity Challenge” in Watercolor Artist Magazine (online version) and during July of 2007, she received a grant by “Les Amis de la Grande Vignes” to serve as artist in residence in Dinan, France. She competes nationally in watercolor exhibitions and plein aire competitions, most recently participating in the Plein Aire Brandywine competition in Pennsylvania and Delaware during September of 2011.
Mrs. Hillis primarily paints in watermedia, including busy street scenes, coastal landscapes, and her favorite, the historic sites near her home on the Blue Ridge in Virginia. The hallmarks of her work are rich color and a touch of humor.
The artist offers classes and workshops across the country and abroad. See her website at www.catherinehillis.com for workshop and class information. You can also view the artist teaching a series of brief watercolor lessons at www.monkeysee.com (type in watercolors onto the subject line).
Hillis’ work has been featured in “Best of American Watercolorists, 2007;” 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,’07, ‘08,’09, ‘10 and 2011.” Four of her paintings were selected as the cover art for the national journal of the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association and her article “Ten Tools for Better Watercolors” was published in American Artist Magazine (www.myamericanartist.com) in September of 2006.
I paint primarily with watercolors, but if the subject calls for something different, I donâ€™t hesitate to use gouache, acrylics, oil, or any medium which will allow me to commit my ideas to paper successfully. Iâ€™m always sketching, so I might select anything as subject matter; however, I return time and again to figures in action in the landscape, and complex city scenes. I enjoy exploring relationships and the interactions of people, and I hope to bring a sense of order to the chaos and confusion of my most complex pieces.
Painting provides a path for me to seek some understanding of the human condition and subsequent relationships. Whenever possible, I like to insert a bit of humor into the situation.