We were encouraged to paint by our parents who filled a room with art supplies. Our grandmother and several aunts were also painters, along with my sister. I studied architectural rendering at Diablo Valley College in California to learn the mechanics of drawing. Art classes at the time focused on how to talk about art. Both were interesting, but learning to draw has proved more useful. I studied at San Francisco State University, specializing in museum photography and completed an internship at the California Academy of Science. For ten years I photographed collections for the Museum of California, the San Francisco International Airport Museum and the Society of California Pioneers and continued painting, most often large portraits of dogs that were exhibited in many venues in and around San Francisco. The dog paintings gained a wider audience after Pomegranate Press published a calendar.

   In 1999 I left for the South Pacific on a 40 boat with a friend. We sailed from Mexico to New Zealand, visiting more than forty islands in between. In 2001 I moved ashore in American Samoa and opened a thrift store. I balance painting in the studio with photographing wild, uninhabited places in search of inspiration. There are so many amazing places to explore. I keep a blog about my travels and painting projects at; 

     My first painting was of a monkey, done when I was two. When I found the drawings Mom had saved it certainly was an eye opener. I'm still drawn to many of the same subjects, but fortunately there has been some improvement.
BIO 2014
     Catherine Buchanan