Katherine Cowtan, artist

Artist's Statement

Katherine is passionate about colour.  Painting is a great excuse to mix and play with colours!  Wherever she goes, she is always on the look-out for inspiration.  Her love of walking, the local countryside (especially hills, paths, trees and snow), and her garden provide rich sources for inspiration.  Through close attention to observation her oil paintings are a direct interpretation of what she sees, and she tries to capture in her work a sense of place, colour, texture, light and mood.                


Perhaps having started out as a weaver, she is often instinctively drawn to landscapes that have interesting textures, and often finds the colours arranged in clear horizontal stripes.  But after the limitations and discipline of weaving, she finds oil painting is liberating.  Using a combination of wet into wet and wet on dry techniques to build up layers, there is much more freedom to choose how much or how little detail and complexity to include. 


She particularly enjoys exploring how to achieve a balance bertween contrasting elements within a composition - vitality v tranquillity, drama v calm, cool v warm shades, dark v light, sunshine v shadow, near v far, vertical v horizontal, complexity v simplicity, illusion v credibility.


Recently Katherine has enjoyed undertaking commissions and teaching local art groups.


Customer comments:

'Simple, evocative, lovely'

'With simplicity and clarity of colour and brush stroke you have captured the Fintry we love'

'You paint the ordinary, but it looks anything but ordinary'

'From a distance it looks like you have painted immaculate detail, but when you look close all you see is brush marks - the detail is an illusion'

'You have painted just enough detail for me to know exactly what it is I am looking at'

'Oh I LIKE these!'

'I can imagine taking my dog for a walk along that path, with him pulling on his lead'

‘I could stand in front of that (painting) all day and imagine standing there looking at that view’

‘we used to take the children there to paddle in the summertime’

‘I can imagine climbing / have climbed those hills’

‘I love the way you have captured the light’

'The dappled light on the path in that painting is so bright it makes me feel I need sun glasses, but that is exactly how it feels when you are in a place like that and the sun flickers through the leaves as you walk along'

‘Although this painting is really big, I feel very comfortable sitting right close to it, because I feel as though I am there, and want to walk right into it’

'the influence of your textile background is apparent in your work, as some of the paintings look like woven landscapes’

'The way you have painted the bog reminds me how it feels to be out in the rain with wet boots'

'I like the variety in your work'

'Your work sings'

'Light shines out of the paintings'

'Your work is breathtaking'

'I really, really like your style'

'When we have our own house, these are the kinds of paintings I would like to hang on the walls'

'I have to tell you I want to walk right into your paintings'

'I know where that is. I've been there. We go there every year'

'If we weren't in the process of downsizing I would buy one'

'I am blown away with your LOVELY paintings'

 'I love the natural colours in your painting.  So many other modern painters use such harsh bright colours.'

'Your paintings are so peaceful they would be very theraputic on the walls of a hospital waiting room.'

'very lyrical'

'When I am inspired by an artist's work in an exhibition, I see the world from a different perspective afterwards.  When I take my dog for a walk I now find myself noticing 'Katherine Cowtan' trees and paths that I would not have looked at twice before - I now see my familiar world afresh, as if through her eyes.'

'I was happy to stumble online across your painting of Sunny Steps, on Inchailloch, Loch Lomond. Happy because, I was part of a group of National Conservation Corps volunteers who installed steps and walkways made of railroad sleepers all the way to the top of the island. That was way back in the summer of 1974 when I was a wee lad of 16.
Thanks for the memory! (from Massachusetts USA)