Cathy McClelland: Acrylic and Mixed-media Paintings of Australia

Published on Feb. 6th 2013

Vibrant color and brilliant texture showcase the diverse wonders of nature that painter Cathy McClelland has seen in her career as a full-time artist. She paints to spread that love of nature and wildlife to all who view her art.

Her backdrop, Australia, allows her to draw inspiration from the smallest blade of grass or largest mountain top. Growing up on a farm and hiking through national parks helped Cathy to form a strong bond with the land, which teems with life. She paints her experiences—her emotional and physical connections—with these landscapes, which gives her artwork a representational, yet imaginative style.

“Every day, everywhere I look, I see endless opportunities to create a memory, a moment of stillness from the energy and beauty of life that surrounds me,” she says. “With no formal training, I paint straight from my heart, what I see and what I feel.”

Entitled Tap Dancer, below, a tiny bird stands bright and tall, a soldier ready to report to duty first thing in the morning. The colors in this composition are simply astounding—a splash of pink as the sun rises, slashes of green leaves pulling toward the light, and everywhere, the pinks, oranges and blues of a thousand fragrant blooms.


To me, the flowers seem to lean anxiously toward the bird, as if waiting to take orders. What a fairytale it must be to live in this garden of the senses! A rough, age-old and rusty faucet, standing tall and stout among the flora, is ready to bring life to the flowery patch at the bird’s first twist of its handle.

And just like that feeling you experience when you’re away from hectic city life and fall into the relaxing comfort of the country, Magic Mountain Views causes me to expel a deep breath. . . my shoulders, tense and tight, relax at the sight of golden fields and the majestic stature of mountains in the background.


If anything, this path is the gateway to an entirely different world filled with clean breezes, resounding echos of your voice catching in the wind, and never-ending adventure.

Lime-green Geenie Lorikeets are the center of attention in the painting below, standing out despite the array of cheerful neon colors around them.


Unlike the clean details of the birds, the background is more misty and foggy—like a humid, tropical jungle. The vibrant colors of the lush jungle seems to swirl into one another like watercolors before running toward the bottom of the painting, like water dripping from a hundred soaked leaves. It’s a clever and playful way to create such a wild, yet realistic scene.

Of course, we’ve just barely scratched the surface of Cathy’s paintings, so if you like what you’ve seen, head over to her website and see the rest of them today!

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