Catherine Tonning-Popowich "Out on a Limb"
Announcing February Artist-Member Exhibit
Catherine was born in Michigan to artistic parents, and has been creating art her entire life. She has explored many mediums such as china painting, watercolors, oils, pastels, airbrushing, printmaking, and sculpture. Painting flora and fauna on clay board using acrylics is her current subject and medium of choice.
Catherine holds an associate degree in commercial art and fine art. Her experience in both artistic realms resonates through her style, and it is her ability to capture fine details that makes many of her pieces seem more like photographs than paintings.
While she is well versed in painting botanicals and other organic forms, Catherine's ability to portray wildlife has received much attention. In 2013, Catherine was awarded an Individual Artist Grant by the Arts Council of Greater Lansing. Through this funding, Catherine was able to pursue an artist- in-residence at Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, Michigan. She held wildlife painting classes that were free and open to the public on-site at the zoo to help ensure that art continues to be accessible to all ages. She also completed a series of paintings of ten of the zoo's animals and held an exhibition of those works in the fall of 2013.
In 2014 Catherine spearheaded an initiative for the Ingham, Eaton and Clinton Community Mental Health Facility's Creative Recovery Program. She designed and created a project to paint a large oak tree mural to be a permanent installation in the CMH lobby, 15 to 20 adult disabled consumers were involved in the painting of the mural.This project was completed in September 2014.
Observing and contemplating the natural world then capturing its essence has always been therapeutic for me. Whether through sketching, photography, painting on porcelain, or more recently, painting with acrylics, I have always looked toward nature as inspiration for my work.
As an artist, I have found that when I am portraying the rich texture of a wolf's coat or the glistening reflection in a bird's eye, I feel at peace. As a teacher, it gives me immense pleasure to be able to guide my students so that they can emerge as artists and find their own inner solace as well.
I don't write poetry with words but with my art. I enjoy painting trees and the wildlife that inhabit them. I feel trees not only tell us stories, but listen to our stories as well. They stand tall against the sky reaching for the clouds, as if to inspire us to do the same.
Catherine shows her art in galleries across the state and her collections celebrate her deep love and devotion for animals and nature.