Intrigued by the creative process and what inspires creativity, we are beginning an occasional series, “. . . in Residence”, which will feature artists, writers, designers and other creative types in their home studio, office or other favorite space to practice their craft. We look forward to introducing you to some new folks and giving you a glimpse of their personal laboratories. Along the way, maybe we will inspire you to find a small piece of real estate where you can get your own creative juices flowing.
Truly a creative tour de force, Catherine Southall is the perfect artist to kick-off our . . . in Residence series. A painter since a young age, Catherine took her talents to the fashion world upon graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BFA in Fashion Design. After a long stint with Tommy Hilfiger working in most every part of his growing dynasty, Catherine returned to Richmond to raise her family, and she now shares her love of painting and fashion through teaching both at the Visual Arts Center and in her basement sewing and fashion studio (the subject of a later post).
Today’s tour spotlights her beautiful home studio that she has set up just off to the left of the front entry in her family home. Originally an office/library, Catherine has filled her shelves in this neutral space with art and fashion books, paintings and photos of her beloved girls.
There is nothing like peaking at someone’s shelves to get an idea of who they are. Catherine’s shelves are clearly not just for decoration, but they provide colorful eye candy.
Catherine first learned to paint with oils but now prefers working with watercolors, which is the most difficult of the painting mediums.
The close-up below includes the first oil that Catherine remembers painting when she was about 8 years old. Above it is a watercolor by her friend, Helen Lord, a teacher at her daughters’ school, St. Catherine’s, where Ellen first met Catherine and two of their girls became the best of friends.
Catherine’s teaching is as prolific as her painting. These framed originals were part of a series of fashion trading cards that she created as examples for a children’s fashion illustration class.
Here Catherine demonstrates how she combines her loves of fashion illustration and watercolor. The old wooden architect’s desk on which she paints was her father’s and is one of her most prized possessions.
It also serves as a perfect place to display her colorful fashion illustrations and works in progress.
Catherine is intrigued by color and teaches a color theory course at The Visual Arts Center, which I recently had the privilege to take. Based on the Munsell theory of color developed in the early 1900’s, the current textbook was developed by James T. Long, former head of photography and associate head of interior design at VCU. The book and Catherine’s course provide hands on training that would benefit any visual artist.
We hope that you have enjoyed a peek into Catherine’s beautiful private studio where she keeps her creative juices flowing with a variety of projects.
With all of her tools close at hand, this functional space provides the perfect setting for Catherine to fashion vibrant works of art. Have we inspired you to find a space to get creating?
p.s. If you are interested in any of Catherine’s classes or a commissioned work, you can contact her at email@example.com.