Catherine A. Mahoney, WHS, MoWS | Hermann | 

Hard work and a lifetime spent rising to the challenge clearly describes my life as an American Impressionist, entirely spent living and creating in Missouri. A seed was planted on my mind’s eye as a four-year-old child when my mother handed me a student pan set of watercolors, paper, a brush and some water. A fascinating hold on my life began.  

Since then, until about two years ago, when I changed career hats because my husband experienced a rapid decline in health, which has caused me to concentrate on him, I have been driven to create ranging from pencil drawings, batiks, watercolors, pastels, oils (both in the studio and en plein air), and photography of Mid-Missouri subjects and worldwide locales as “impressions of colorful light.” As a multimedia artist, I express light impacting colors, patterns and textures in dramatic skies, dynamic landscapes and dancing images.

Since 1970, after I earned a BS Art Education graduating with honors from Truman State University, I’ve led others in similar painterly exercises by teaching art in both private and public schools. After 1988 until 2018, I’ve conducted summertime “Young-At-Art” workshops resulting in YAA Student Exhibits in locales ranging from Groom, Texas, to Hermann, Missouri.

Over the past thirty-six years, I’ve been happy to meet state, national and international collectors which have included Ella Carothers Dunnegan Museum of Art, Missouri Public Service, Ballas-Clayton Standard, Inc, McDonald’s, and First Banks.

I’ve won numerous awards and have appeared in many juried exhibitions across the USA. At the end of the last millennium, the Missouri Arts Council awarded me a mini-grant to complete a Gasconade County, twenty-foot historical mural in oils. An example of my awards received on a full-sized watercolor sheet is “A Hermann Pastoral”, a transparent watercolor. I’ve received First Place Watercolor at the Missouri Top 50 professional show at the Missouri State Fair, First Place Watercolor, in Arts Rolla!, an Award of Merit at the Texas Watercolor Society’s 56th Annual exhibition (which toured for one year), specially exhibited in the entryway to the Missouri Botanical Gardens and lastly, earned the distinction of the Winston Churchill Watercolor Award.

Works have been published in the Best of Watercolor: Painting Texture, Our Missouri Heritage, the Missouri Symphony Society cover, the Guild, Missouri Life magazine, and Waldechesche Landeazeitung, Germany. 

In Children’s Books, lay-outs were designed to be full-paged, watercolor Illustrations. Included are Daisy and Digger, and What Makes Ossie Special, both written by Kathy Meyer; and If Only I Could Bark, written by Debra Weingarth.

Catherine Mahoney, shown at work, painting en plein air after sunrise, Taos, NM, 2017. Presently my works are available at Kodner Art Gallery, Clayton; Stone Soup Galleries, Chesterfield Mall, St. Louis; Antiques Unlimited II and Colorful Brushes Studio, Hermann.  Originals, giclees and books are available.


Catherine A. Mahoney

“Rain Reflections, Steedman, MO, Callaway Plein Air”

Oil on Panel, 2017 12” x 12”

When building the relationship of forms that were employed during this en plein aire paint-out held at Steedman, MO, scene, I combined visually exciting, varied, tactile surfaces. The dynamic opposition of the surfaces and their contrasting texture adds mystery to the work and intrigue for the viewer. Lost and found edges using opaque paint applied with palette knife, fingers and brushes was used to establish subordinate shapes.  Final glazes unified the composition, creating enhanced curiosity for the viewer.

“Door County Barn at Sunset”,        

Oil on canvas, 2015, 8” x 10”

Before beginning en plein aire at Door County, WI, nearing the end of a beautiful day, I applied total concentration using all five of my senses. I focused on what the atmosphere of the day felt like, how it took the light and what its’ properties were. I loved the vivid colorings that took place just before dusk singing in evidence all around me. As this internal dialogue guided my hand and brushwork, a unified, quiet mood was set to achieve a balance in actively textured and restfully quiet areas on this June day.

“Cane Hill, Arkansas”

Oil on Canvas, 2017 12” x 12”

A visit to Cane Hill, Arkansas transported me into decades past. In this en plein air oil, I show the nearby location of the first college of Arkansas. As a former public school art teaching experience, I found the dynamic sky heightened after a rain storm contrasted with the softer patterns of the flora masses to be an intriguing subject matter. Spring splendor against the weather-beaten wood and delicate fields provided an ideal opportunity to explore various en plein aire techniques: wet-in-wet with palette knife, fingers and brush applications, and finally, glazing. To push and pull contrasts–warm and cool colors, patterns and textures, I was able to bring rich excitement to this painting. This painting is currently on tour in the Arkansas Territory Bicentennial Art Exhibition, 15 Nottingham Dr. Bella Vista, AR 72715.

“Reid’s Magic House Bus”

Watercolor, 2016 21” x 21”

Portraits are the challenge awakened in me. To portray the story of the subject is an exciting time for me as I apply total concentration. I focused on what the day demonstrated when I accompanied my adopted grandson to the Magic House, St. Louis, MO: about how it looked as the artificial light fell across his little body as opposed to the light and shadow casted on the technical screen behind him and what those properties included. I loved the vivid colorings that took place evidenced all around him. He was such in a hurry to see his own bus illuminated on the screen and to watch how it moved on the road as it was projected, that he rushed his creative designing time to include only one blue-green value—all the rest of his bus was white!

“Joe, Autumn Joy”

Watercolor, 2008, 14” x 21”

The values found in the background barn, bush and tree in “Joe, Autumn Joy” suggest atmosphere without drawing attention away from my grandson. Using transparent watercolors applied in a dropped-in, wet-in-wet painterly style to contrast surfaces of Joe’s portrait, I was able to create energy and unity the story by concentrating on his coat, hands and head. The object of Joe’s carving, to which one’s eye seeks, primarily completes the story and denotes the spirit of his youth focusing on his creative 3-D interests in this award-winning painting.