I’ve always been artistic and following on from school, I went to Aberdeen College to do a HND in Graphic Design.
I then got a proper job working in a variety of positions including Senior Artworker and later as a Marketing Co-ordinator. As well as working full time, I had a family to look after at home along with my husband. My daughter is now 13 and in second year at secondary school and my son is 10 and in Primary 6.
Several years ago, I decided that I wanted to get back into painting and joined an art class at Art on the Green in Udny Green. Two and a half hours of heaven on a Saturday morning – I loved it! As well as painting, there’s always a bit of chatting over a cup of tea and cake. The friends I have made in the class and the support that we give each other helped me to make the decision to pursue my art seriously last year. Catriona Yates Art was launched in March 2017.
My work is an exploration of colour, texture and design through a variety of styles. It features animals, birds, plants, Art Deco, Art Nouveau or anything that catches my eye!
I work from my home studio in Kingswells. My desk sits under the window to give me plenty of daylight and I also have a lamp for working in the evenings. Usually I work with my painting flat, especially for watercolour, and I have a desk easel for larger acrylic paintings. In the corner I also have my computer, perfect for updating my social media and answering customer emails.
From the initial spark of an idea I generally sketch the idea quickly and then gather reference material together. I use tracing paper to work through ideas and layouts for my more illustrative work and then the final design is transferred onto the watercolour paper ready for inking up. Once this has been completed, the colour is added using watercolour. If I’m using acrylic then I go from the initial sketch straight to painting. I enjoy using a wide range of techniques.
My inspiration can come from a colour, an animal, photograph or artistic style such as Art Deco or a combination of them all. I’m also inspired by fellow artists, some of my favourites are Anita Inverarity, Ruth Taylor, Jackie Morris, Nikki Monaghan, Louise Rawlings, Audrey Kawasaki, and Este MacLeod. I’ll be taking part in North East Open Studios (NEOS) again this year at Delgatie Castle near Turriff. The castle provides a stunning backdrop for all the makers (16 in total last year) to show off their creations.
Other events are still to be finalized and will be added to my website once they’re confirmed. It’s the design element in my work that makes it special. The design is very important and is often the aspect of the painting that is resolved first, and then the painting techniques and media are combined to produce the finished image. I enjoy working on commissions, whether it’s an original painting or a special hanging heart for a loved one.