Cathy Ross was born and raised in Saint John, New Brunswick in a home where art and creativity were at the very heart of family life. She studied art at Mount Allison University and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. After graduating in 1982, and having been awarded an Elizabeth T. Greenshields spent the next 10 years as a print maker in studios in Calgary, AB; Providence, Rhode Island; and Halifax, NS. During this time, she felt herself drawn to the still life genre and the medium of watercolour, allowing her to explore the complexities of colour and pattern that so intrigued her.
Since 1981, Cathy has garnered several awards and grants and her work has been exhibited in both Canada and the United States and is in several public and private permanent collections across Canada including Memorial University, Newfoundland; New Brunswick Museum, Saint John; The Banff Centre, Alberta; The Burnaby Art Gallery, British Columbia; Dofasco Inc., Hamilton; and The Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa. Stepping back from her work to raise her children in 1995, she has returned in the last few years to continue to pursue her passionate exploration of the genre in uniquely innovative ways. Cathy lives with her husband Bruce Taylor, a sculptor and University of Waterloo fine arts professor, and her four children in Waterloo, Ontario.
I like looking at things closely. I am particularly interested in visual excessiveness, often setting pattern upon pattern, placing extravagant still life subjects against decorative backgrounds. Yet I always work to maintain a sense of calm, a restraining control of the subject and composition, and take joy in perfecting my technique. Even within this traditional mode, whether a floral arrangement in its transient cycle on a clean white backdrop or the lavish juxtaposition of colour and pattern overlaid, I want my paintings to reveal a vitality and innovation that have the potential of transcending the genre. In all my work, I try to capture the fleeting vibrancy of nature and continue to explore the vitality and complexity of colour.
Cathy Ross, 2014