Bio and Artists Statement
Catherine Bobkoski is a still life and figurative artist whose work celebrates the quiet beauty of ordinary things. Her delicate paintings of flowers are exhibited nationally, including at the Oil Painters of America 2018 National Juried Show. She is represented by Sanders Galleries in Tucson, Arizona.
Catherine also enjoys sharing her knowledge and love of painting with others. She is a sought after painting instructor and teaches at many art schools throughout Southern California, including Art Mentors, Creative Arts Group and The Watts Atelier, where she began as a student many years ago. Catherine is committed to bringing a passion for art to the next generation. She is an elite drawing and painting instructor at the award-winning Carlsbad Art Farm where she teaches children and shares their inspiration in a natural setting.
Catherine began studying drawing and painting at The Watts Atelier in Encinitas, California and later at Grand Central Academy and New York University in New York City. She has also studied with many inspiring artists along the way, including Daniel Keys, Joseph Todorovitch, Dustin Van Wechel, Vadim Zang and Ignat Ignatov.
Catherine Bobkoski’s art focuses on still life as an oasis of quiet in an over stimulated world. The purity of purpose that comes from painting humble subjects such as fruits and flowers purely for the joy of it appeals to her. She doesn’t seek to impose a narrative or burden the viewer with obscure symbolism. “I only want to transfer some of the simple pleasure I feel in observing a quiet, beautiful moment,” she notes. “My paintings are offered as meditations in which flowers can be enjoyed simply for being flowers.”
Modern still life painting appealed to Manet, who called it the “the touchstone of painting”, and Renoir, who observed that it had “freed painting from the importance of subject”. Catherine interprets their meaning as the freedom that comes from a genre that places no obstacles between artist and subject. “A still life is a scene constructed and filled with objects completely of my own choosing,” she says. “I don’t have to hire a model or travel to some impressive landscape. Nothing separates me from my subject. It is an intensely personal and intimate form of picture making.”
Catherine likens the colorful fruits, the polished pots, and the scatterings of wilted flowers that populate her paintings to characters carefully chosen to participate in a peaceful drama which she has staged, and upon which she imparts her own sense of meaning. “It is a painstaking process requiring many hours of mostly just paying close attention, and that close attention is what seems to impart a kind of life force to my subject, and that life force bounces back at me from the easel. The still life is really a portrait of the artist in disguise, my reflection given form.”
Catherine’s paintings invite the viewer to enter her world, see it through her eyes. But also, like a simple haiku, they invite contemplation and unique interpretation. They are windows to a deeper well.