About The Teacher

Catherine Hillis has enjoyed the arts all her life. She won awards for her artwork as a child and was a musician in high school and college. As a youngster, she acted and modeled in print and television ads, later majoring in Theatre at the University of Georgia. She knew she would always be involved in the arts in some way. Her journalist husband’s career took her to different cities, finally settling in the Virginia and Washington D.C. area, where she established her reputation as a fine art water color artist and a popular instructor. In late 2017, she moved to St. Simons Island, on the coast of southern Georgia, to continue her work, inspired by the low country, the beach and the spirit of the area. Hillis works both in the studio and outdoors. During the past few years, the artist has traveled extensively to plein air competitions, fulfilling her love for painting nature and history. She is drawn to scenes that are often forgotten or neglected and finds the intrinsic beauty in them. Hillis believes that observation is her best teacher and she is known for the effect of light and movement in her work. Hillis has won hundreds of awards and honors at competitive shows regionally and nationally. She has earned eight Signature Memberships from national watercolor organizations and was one of 40 elected members of the prestigious Washington Society of Landscape Painters. The artist regularly competes in international watercolor exhibitions as well as plein air competitions and invitational shows. She served as artist in residence in Dinan, France (2007) and at Hot Springs National Park (2010). Catherine Hillis is also a respected instructor teaching classes at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA and at Frederick Community College as well as workshops nationally and abroad. Her watercolor paintings are included in museum, corporate and personal collections and has been published in many venues, including Plein Air Magazine, American Artist Magazine, Splash 12, Splash 14, Splash 18, the Artistic Touch series of water-media books, The Washington Post, the Best of America Watercolor Artists & Artisans, Volume 1 and the Best of Virginia Artists & Artisans 2005. Her article "Ten Tools for Better Watercolors" was published in American Artist Magazine in September, 2006, and her most recent article was published in "Watercolor Artist Magazine" in April, 2017. You can see Hillis teaching a series of brief watercolor lessons on (contact info blocked). Please visit (contact info blocked) for more information regarding galleries, original artwork and classes or email (contact info blocked). Paintings by the artist are regularly selected for international watercolor exhibitions and she has been invited to participate in plein air competitions and invitationals, including Sedona Plein Air, Sedona, AZ; Easels in Frederick, Frederick, Maryland; Finger Lakes, NY; Curacao Plein Air; Winter Park Plein Air Invitational, FL; Los Gatos Plein Air, California; Paint the Peninsula, Port Angeles, Washington; Gadsden, AL Plein Air Painters of the Southeast; Wekiva Island Plein Air Invitational, FL; Bucks County Plein Air, PA and Cashiers, NC. Her most recent plein air awards include the Guerilla Painter Award (Seven Canyons) Sedona Plein Air 2018; 2015 Best in Show at Piedmont Plein Air in High Point, NC; honorable mention in Shadows on the Teche, 2016; Award of Merit, Gadsden, Alabama, 2016; an honorable mention in the 2015 Curacao Plein Air Quick Draw; honorable mention in the 2012 Mountain Maryland Plein Aire competition and a Juror's Choice in Ellicott City, Maryland, 2013 and Best Nocturnal, Mountain MD 2014. The artist's biography has been included in Who’s Who Among American Women since 2006.

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