“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. She trained in Fine Art Painting at The Central School of Art in London and has exhibited her work countrywide for over thirty years. Over the past twelve years, her practice has extended into illustration. She has written and illustrated two books of her own: ‘The Hare and the Moon: a calendar of paintings’ (Zephyr: Head of Zeus, 2019) and ‘The Star Tree’ (Frances Lincoln. 2016). 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 cards business producing reproductions of her work and creates fine quality Giclee prints which she sells worldwide.
“In my paintings, I use symbols that are both universal and personal: Archetypal animals, such as the hare, stag and owl are associated with many layers of myth and history. The hare, in particular, is a highly personal symbol that I have used in my work for many years. It is a mysterious and ancient creature and I often use it as an image of stillness and contemplation. I also love its speed and seeming 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 monochrome paintings are mainly for illustration work and executed on Ampersand Clayboard panels. The surface is made using a kaolin clay which is ground to an extremely smooth, highly absorbent finish (similar to the clay gesso grounds used in the Renaissance). I build loose watery layers 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.”
MIXED AND SOLO SHOWS
Ainscough Contemporary London
Beaux Art Bath
Bishop Philpotts Truro
Lemon Street Gallery Truro
Charleston Farmhouse Sussex
Easton Rooms Rye
Elementum Gallery, Sherborne
Falmouth Art Gallery
Foss Fine Art London
Fowey River Gallery
Illustration Cupboard London
Iona House Gallery Woodstock
John Noott Gallery, Broadway
Lion House Gallery Suffolk
Lighthouse Gallery Penzance
Mall Galleries London
New Leaf Gallery Monmouth
Rostra Gallery Bath
Rye Art Gallery Sussex
Singing Soul Gallery Cranbrook
True North Gallery Massachusetts
Twenty Twenty Gallery Much Wenlock
Wetpaint Gallery Cirencester
2021: Author/Illustrator: ‘The Bee and The Sun: a calendar of herbs and spices’ (Zephyr/Head of Zeus)
2019: Author/Illustrator: ‘The Hare and the Moon: a calendar of paintings’ (Zephyr/Head of Zeus)
2016 – 2019: Commissioned illustrations: Editions 1 – 5 Elementum Journal
2017: Cover and interior illustrations: ‘The Snow Angel’ by Lauren St John (Zephyr)
2016: Author/Illustrator: ‘The Star Tree’ (Frances Lincoln)
Shortlisted for the 2017 Cambridgeshire Children’s Picture Book Award Nominated for The Kate Greenaway Award
2014: Illustration: ‘Over the hills and far away’ Elizabeth Hammill
2013: Illustrator: ‘Little Evie in the Wild Wood’ by Jackie Morris (Frances Lincoln)
Nominated for the Kate Greenaway Award
2010: Illustrator: ‘Firebird’ by Saviour Pirrotta (Templar Publishing)
Awarded an Aesop Accolade by the American Folklore Society
Nominated for the Kate Greenaway Award
2009: Illustrator: ‘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’s work has always been closely connected to Nature and storytelling. Understanding the language of ancient symbols she enhances this fairytale with her signature images. Ethereal figures, leaping hares and bounding stags, lurking fish and devious ravens, the waxing and waning moon, the burnished suns and distant planets and dark ochre pomegranates, the fruits of Hades, are woven into their fabric like a glorious medieval tapestry.” Peta Jane Field, Inside Cornwall Magazine – The Princess’ Blankets by Carol Ann Duffy.
Studio shots in the header slider by kind permission of Jay Armstrong Photography