Artist Statement

a photograph of a gouache painting title 'Unfurl' by artist Catherine Coulson © 2019 Catherine Coulson

a photograph of a gouache painting title 'Sphagnum Mound, Summer, Kirkconnell Flow' by artist Catherine Coulson © 2019 Catherine Coulson

Artist Statement

My work considers our relationship with nature, in particular how we experience and respond to wild landscapes and biodiverse habitats. I am interested in the sense of calmness and curiosity that we often feel in nature and how such complex ecosystems, far from overwhelming us, can serve as places of reflection and emotional restoration.


I unravel the aesthetic and sensory elements that create these environments, looking at what makes up the unique character of a location; concepts of transience and impermanence, depth and subtlety, imperfection and patina from weather, decay and growth.


I visit nature reserves throughout the seasons, exploring the landscape close up, collecting material for studio paintings and research essays. Creative practice includes a number of interconnected disciplines which seek to observe elements in slightly different ways. Extensive time is spent documenting and absorbing sensory information, observational field writing and poetry are used as linguistic non-visual mediums, to record detail not captured through initial field sketching. Photography serves to record flora, fauna and elements of the ecosystems for later research and identification, as well as to make fleeting portraits of the astounding intricacy and beauty of the reserves.


This process encourages an intimacy and involvement which comes with time and repetition, a feel for a location that brings together different experiences into a personal narrative of place. I capture and express the emotional quality such habitats generate in us, painting broad abstractions of visual information, concentrating on colour and surface detail, creating paintings that look beyond visual representation to describe a closer experience.