Catherine Forshall

Catherine Forshall's paintings are a celebration of the natural world. Growing up in Scotland, her love of the sea and the creatures within it began through going mackerel fishing with her father as a young girl. She was never interested in the boat itself, but relished gazing into the watery depths of the Atlantic, glimpsing another world,

Catherine studied in Florence under both Signora Simi and Professor Fantoni, and spent some years living in the Mediterranean where she was able to study and observe fish at close quarters. Her paintings combine accurate observation and knowledge of marine species with an expressive fluidity and treatment of the paint surface.

The way water and the creatures within continually shift, creating changing formal relationships between shape, light and negative space, fascinate her. Despite drawing from fish and molluscs washed up by the tide, she re-invigorates them through the act of painting. Her marks and the multitude of aqueous washes of acrylic ensure her paintings retain fluidity and motion. The way she effectively uses tone and atmospheric perspective guarantees that your eye is taken right through the picture plane to the softest hint of a pale fish silhouette peering through the silky bodies of those in the foreground.

Another part of Catherine's art practice are her garden paintings. She spends the summers in her small farm in the Lot in France, surrounded by an abundant vegetable patch and laden fruit trees, which are the inspiration for her garden paintings. She plants only native seeds and plants, so both her paintings and her garden are completely rooted in her French summers.

'I love painting vegetables and flowers in the wild, I like the way they grow out of the landscape and I feel that I am painting more of a landscape than a controlled or composed piece of work, almost as if they are taking me on their own journey, a liberation in their wild profusion. I also feel that when you paint wild flowers in their own habitat you get the full sensory experience, the smell of damp earth in early spring, drought in late spring and the intense aroma of the flowers in the meadows after one of our electric storms, this is so important to me along with the play of light at different times of the day.'

Catherine exhibits internationally in galleries in New York, Paris, and London, as well as those closer to her home in the Southwest of England. She held a solo show in London in summer 2023.