Catherine Holland was born in Plymouth where she began her early family life living on a moored houseboat. Her father was a test pilot in the Royal Navy and they moved to different locations including Ireland and Devon. Whilst growing up in Devon Catherine developed a love of the countryside, moorland and the sea. Her father taught her the names of wild flowers, trees and birds and encouraged the planting of trees.
Catherine actually comes from a family of artists (her paternal grandfather was an award winning portrait artist). At age 10, Catherine’s Godmother taught her to paint with oils and as a child Catherine loved to create small botanical pictures. Catherine never pursued her deep desire to go to Art College but she did go on to study fashion design and worked in a graphic design studio for many years.
It was after Catherine's travels to Montelimar in France that she discovered Oil Pastels. Catherine prefers to blend her oil pastels with a piece of wood on the paper, and then scrapes or scratches with a palette knife when minute detail is required. She enjoys making strokes with one colour, overlaying it and then revealing it by scraping off the top layer to create lighter detail underneath. So she is actually “ drawing” with oils.
Catherine has always admired Turner’s work for his depiction of light and when she was introduced to David Hockney’s work, she introduced more colour into her own paintings. She creates a journal drawing at the beginning of her day, to reflect her feelings and some of these intuitive works create wonderful surprise designs. After different life experiences and travelling extensively, she has been inspired to write and has published several books including : “As Colourful as I am: The power of colour, expression and self-acceptance”.