Considering herself blessed to combine work with her passion, Catherine McClung’s paintings are a record of her observations of nature. Growing up in Toronto, Canada, her mother taught her all the names of the flowers in her modest backyard. “I recall my first spectacular bird sighting as if it were yesterday – it was a Baltimore oriole, with brilliant yellow-orange feathers framed with black markings.”
Her family moved to the United States when she was a teenager and she continued her education at Eastern Michigan University. Throughout college she led an elementary age, summer program called “Nature Adventure.” One summer while teaching arts and crafts classes to adults and children at a local art supply store, she began to see other people enjoy her work. “I would decorate the windows with crafts that I had made to encourage others to buy the art supplies. I placed the paintings of birds I had done on barn wood and driftwood in the store window…people came into the store asking to buy the paintings.”
After starting a family, McClung looked for a business that she could do from home. With some encouragement from a friend and few successful sales, she began painting watercolor paintings on watercolor paper. For the next 30 plus years she would teach herself to paint. She has published over 80 limited edition prints with many sell outs. Her work has been licensed for several commercial products including collector plates, dinnerware, and ornaments. She has been asked to design bird posters for the Department of Natural Resources of seven states. Her illustrations grace the pages of the children’s book “The Far Flung Adventures of Homer the Hummer” which helped to tell the story of the amazing and perilous year in the life of a ruby-throated hummingbird.
With a move to west Michigan in 2005 she realized that she would spend the rest of her life painting her new neighbors residing in the woods, waters, and meadows surrounding her. “Walking every day helps to center me on the natural world. Every time I step out the door or look out the window, I am reminded of God’s greatness.”