Katherine Cowtan

Catherine Cowtan artist in residence at Culcreuch Castle in Stirlingshire, ScotlandAbout me

I graduated from West Surrey College of Art & Design with a first class BA (Hons) degree in woven textile design, followed by an MA from The Royal College of Art in London. I then worked as a freelance weave designer for 15 years before moving to Scotland.
Surrounded by beautiful hills, woods and lochs, including the Loch Lomond National Park, it became essential for me to start painting the local landscapes. My love of the countryside, walking and my garden provide rich sources of inspiration, as the seasons, weather and colours change by season and from day to day.

Perhaps because I started out as a weaver my motivation has always been colour and texture. My training as a craftsperson and designer form the basis for how I process and develop ideas and compositions. For me painting is a way of sharing an experience. I aim to capture the quality of light, an impression of place, colour, texture, mood, and often a sense of journey along a path.

I enjoy the diversity of different media and use both water mixable oil paints and watercolours, choosing the style and medium that I think is best suited to explore and represent the subject. I enjoy sharing the process of developing a painting, teaching at local art groups, running workshops and undertaking commissions.

My paintings hang in private collections locally, nationally, in USA and Australia.


Oil painting
Watercolour with other media

Things I love

Trees, birdsong, sunshine, wildlife, walking, flowers, gardening, making things, elephants, otters, owls.

I think our experience of what we see is increased when we sit and draw, because we really pay attention to it. If we are outside we are immersed in the atmosphere, the weather and birdsong. However, we need to work with our limitations (maybe time or the weather) and I am not a purist. What matters to me is knowing what I want to convey in a painting, not how it is achieved. I happily use a combination of on-site sketches, lots of photos, memory, artistic license and making it up as I go along!

Artist Katherine Cowtan sketching in her garden