Meet Catherine Hillis, this week’s top American Watercolor Weekly Ambassador!
Catherine Hillis has always been an achiever in the arts. She won awards for her artwork as a child and was an accomplished musician as well. As a youngster, she acted and modeled in print and television ads, later majoring in Theatre at the University of Georgia. She knew she would always be involved in the arts in some way.
Receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts, cum laude, from the University of Georgia, Hillis continued her Master of Fine Art studies at the University of Texas. Her journalist husband’s career took her to different cities, finally settling in the Virginia and Washington D.C. area, where she established her reputation as a fine art water color artist and a popular instructor. In late 2017, she moved to St. Simons Island, on the coast of southern Georgia, to continue her work, inspired by the low country, the beach and the spirit of the area.
Hillis works both in the studio and outdoors. During the past few years, the artist has traveled extensively to plein air competitions, fulfilling her love for painting nature and history. She is drawn to scenes that are often forgotten or neglected and finds the intrinsic beauty in them. Hillis believes that observation is her best teacher and she is known for the effect of light and movement in her work.
Hillis has won hundreds of awards and honors at competitive shows regionally and nationally. She has earned eight Signature Memberships from national watercolor organizations, was one of 40 elected members of the prestigious Washington Society of Landscape Painters and is a newly elected member of the Georgia Coastal Artists Guild. The artist regularly competes in international watercolor exhibitions as well as plein air competitions and invitational shows. She served as artist in residence in Dinan, France (2007), and at Hot Springs National Park (2010).
Catherine Hillis is a respected instructor and taught classes and workshops at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA and at Frederick Community College as well as workshops nationally and abroad. Her watercolor paintings are included in museum, corporate and personal collections and have been published in many venues, including Plein Air Magazine, Watercolor Artist Magazine, American Artist Magazine, Splash 12, Splash 14, Splash 18, the Artistic Touch series of water-media books, The Washington Post, the Best of America Watercolor Artists & Artisans, Volume 1 and the Best of Virginia Artists & Artisans 2005. Her article “Ten Tools for Better Watercolors” was published in American Artist Magazine in September, 2006 and her most recent article was featured in Watercolor Artist Magazine’s April 2017 issue. You may see Hillis teaching a series of brief watercolor lessons on MonkeySee.com.
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