Catherine Hyde

‘She is, if you will, a visual poet weaving images, symbols and archetypes into paintings that resonate in the subconscious and linger there like half-remembered dreams or the dark fairy stories with which she has such affiliation’. Pip Palmer, Galleries Magazine




CATHERINE HYDE is an artist, writer, and award-winning Illustrator. Born in Dartford in Kent she trained in Fine Art Painting at The Central School of Art in London.  An established and successful artist for the past thirty years, her practice has now extended into book illustration.  All of her picture books have been nominated for the prestigious Kate Greenaway Award and she was the winner of The English Association Best Illustrated Book Award (Key Stage 2) for The Princess’ Blankets by Carol Ann Duffy.  Alongside her paintings and illustrations, she runs her own greeting card business and creates fine quality Giclee prints which she sells worldwide.


Where light and dark brush past each other

Catherine Hyde
‘As a child, I was lucky enough to be a precocious reader: I devoured Blake, galloped through Grimm (with terror at my heels), constantly revisited the melancholy world of Hans Christian Andersen and gleefully recited the poetry of AA Milne and Spike Milligan. But my greatest love was increasingly for writers where I found not just lyricism but a suggestion of something more indefinable: the landscape shaped by layers of time, the workings of man, and mythology. I was drawn to John Masefield, L.M Boston, Eleanor Farjeon, Elizabeth Goudge and C.S. Lewis who explored history and atmosphere and an indefinable sense of mystery and magic. My utter joy at thirteen was to discover Alan Garner’s classic book The Owl Service and the whole world of archetypal symbolism and myth lay open at my feet.

In my paintings, I use symbols that are both universal and personal.  The hare appears, sometimes as an image of stillness and contemplation and sometimes for its ability to exist between earth and air: pure energy, sheer earthy magic.

I paint with acrylics on a fine-tooth canvas and build the surface with layers of glazes, adding thickening gels, gold and copper leaf and mica flakes for extra texture.  I like to move the picture structure around, keeping it fluid and mobile, so that the final image retains energy and atmosphere.

My work on clayboard panel is mainly for book illustration. The panels surface is made using a kaolin clay which has been ground to an extremely smooth, highly absorbent finish similar to the clay gesso grounds used in the Renaissance.  I build loose watery layers using ink and water colour and then work into the surface with steel wool and scalpel blades, adding to and shifting the image.

Both techniques are a very organic, fluid way of working which gives me both freedom and control.

Over time I have found that the boundaries between my painting and my illustration have become happily mixed, referencing books and words in my paintings and bringing as many painterly qualities to my illustrations as possible.’




Elementum Gallery Sherborne

Foss Fine Art London

John Noott Gallery Broadway

Lighthouse Gallery Penzance



The Hare and the Moon: a calendar of paintings by Catherine Hyde:  Zephyr

Editions 1 – 5: Elementum Journal

The Snow Angel by Lauren St John: Zephyr

The Star Tree by Catherine Hyde: Frances Lincoln

Shortlisted for the 2017 Cambridgeshire Children’s Picture Book Award

Nominated for The Kate Greenaway Award

Little Evie in the Wild Wood by Jackie Morris: Frances Lincoln

Nominated for the Kate Greenaway Award

Firebird by Saviour Pirrotta: Templar Publishing

Awarded an Aesop Accolade by the American Folklore Society

Nominated for the Kate Greenaway Award

The Princess’s Blankets by Carol Ann Duffy: Templar Publishing

Winner of the English Association Best Illustrated book Key Stage 2

Nominated for UKLA and The Kate Greenaway Award


Catherine has also shown her work with:

Ainscough Contemporary London

Beaux Art Bath

Mall Galleries London

Lemon Street Gallery Truro

Iona House Gallery Woodstock

The Crooked House Gallery Lavenham

Bishop Philpotts Gallery Truro

Charleston Farmhouse Sussex

The Yew Tree Gallery Morvah Cornwall

The Illustration Gallery London

The Crooked House Gallery Lavenham

Rostra Gallery Bath

Yew Tree Gallery Morvah Cornwall

Julia Mills Gallery Porthleven

Polka Dot Gallery Exeter

Falmouth Art Gallery

Towner Gallery Eastbourne

Pine Gallery Tunbridge Wells

Twenty Twenty Gallery Much Wenlock


Studio shots by kind permission of Jay Armstrong Photography


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