Featured Artist Catherine Wagner Minnery

Artist Catherine Wagner Minnery creates painterly landscapes that bridge the gap between abstraction and realism. Visit her website to see more.


abstract landscape painting of a lake by Catherine Wagner Minnery

“Lock 52″ oil on wood panel, 12″ x 12”

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I am an observational artist who is not constrained by visual reality. I’m also a life-long artist. I don’t think my love of drawing and obsessing over colors is unusual for a child, but we who end up pursuing the arts probably hang on longer to those childish delights and consequently get addicted to this experience. At least that is my story.


abstract landscape painting of a delta with a tree by Cathering Wagner Minnery

“Along the Delta Rhythm and Bayou Highway 1″ oil on canvas, 48″ x 24”


When I entered college, I was unsure what to do with this calling and decided to study design. That’s where I started,  but after three semesters I changed colleges and pursued studio arts. Yet after graduation I found employment as a graphic designer and illustrator. I truly enjoyed most of those years working in commercial art and learned so much about design and organization.


abstract oil landscape by Catherine Wagner Minnery

“You Are Here #2” oil on canvas, 36″ x 36″


Creating art, however, was still my calling, and wanting to have more time to paint eventually overwhelmed me. I managed to find that time by being a freelancer and also working part time jobs that had nothing to do with art. This new schedule actually gave me the flexibility I needed to spend more time painting.


abstract landscape painting of trees and mountain by Cathering Wagner Minnery

“You Are Here #1″ oil on canvas, 36″ x 36”


Today I continue to pursue my art. I am an avid sketch hunter. By this I mean that I am always on the lookout for possible subject matter to paint. I see possibilities almost everywhere!


a few of artist Catherine Wagner Minnery's sketchbooks

A few of artist Catherine Wagner Minnery’s sketchbooks


When a place excites me or an idea is formed, I quickly lay it out in simple forms with a marker or pen, making notes on the drawing and taking photos. This sketch is the most important part of a future piece since it records my first impression and gesture of a place. It is a personal reminder that photos don’t record everything.

Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.


abstract landscape painting of a break in the rain by Catherine Wagner Minnery

“Break in Rain” oil on canvas, 30″ x 15″


Sometimes I will take the time to do a small study or start a larger painting on site. It all depends on where I am. Larger studies are worked up in the studio from all the information I have gathered. Then I decide if it will work in an even larger format.


abstract landscape painting of a river through the woods by Catherine Wagner Minnery

“Summer Quiet” oil on canvas, 36″ x 36″


In an effort to create a more personal painting, I am constantly pushing and pulling between abstraction and reality. Sometimes I find I need to go back to a place to make further observations.


abstract landscape painting of a river before the falls by Catherine Wagner Minnery

“Before the Falls” oil on canvas, 40″ x 30″


In the past, I only painted on site. Over the years, I have found that the combination of on-site observation and painting in the studio works best for me.


abstract landscape painting of the coast by Catherine Wagner Minnery

“What I See and Don’t See” oil on canvas, 60″ x 36″


The underlying abstraction of a place, I feel, is its spiritual core—it is painting the unseen. This is a goal that I sometimes get close to and at other times not as close as I’d hoped. I’ve realized that I will never totally “figure out” painting and that’s okay. It keeps me eager to deepen my search and work harder. There is always much more to discover.


abstract landscape painting of morning over the water by Catherine Wagner Minnery

“Awakening” oil on canvas, 48″ x 36″


Paul Klee’s creative credo resonates with me, “Art does not replicate what we see; rather it makes us see.”


Artist Catherine Wagner Minnery invites you to follow her on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.


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