Cathy Sheeter is known as one of the premier wildlife and western scratchboard artists of today. Her mastery of the difficult scratchboard medium is evident in the outstanding quality of each of her works. Highly detailed and realistic, her scratchboard art is often mistaken for photographs at a distance. Cathy has been exhibiting her work since 2008 and her rapid ascent into highly respected wildlife and western art exhibitions and an ever-increasing number of awards and publications has made her work increasingly collectible worldwide. Cathy’s work is instantly recognizable due to its life-like eyes, anatomical accuracy, strong compositions, and sense of light which help bring the viewer into the world of her animal artwork creations. Cathy's work can be found in museums and corporate and private collections in multiple countries across the globe.
Cathy was born in 1979 and grew up in a very remote town in Eastern Oregon, where she was immersed in a community with small town values, rich in ranching, agriculture, and open spaces. Her love for the natural world was encouraged by her family and she owned (and showed) countless animals throughout childhood. Animals and the western lifestyle continue to be central components of her life and the focus of much of her art. Cathy was fortunate to have a family that encouraged her artistic interests and talents from early childhood. She took art classes through high school and was first introduced to the medium of scratchboard in those classes. While Cathy chose to major in animal sciences in college, she never stopped creating art in her free time. In 2002 Cathy moved to Colorado, where she still resides. When not creating her art, Cathy loves being outdoors doing photography and is an avid birder. She also shows her Belgian Sheepdog, Devon, in conformation, agility, and obedience.
Cathy's primary choice of mediums is the non-traditional scratchboard. Scratchboard is a form of direct engraving where the artist starts with a masonite panel that is coated with white clay and then topped with a thin layer of black ink. A sharp pointed tool is then used to scratch away the black ink and expose the white clay below (leaving a black and white image). The image can then be colored with inks if desired. Scratchboard is regarded by many artists as one of the most difficult mediums to master as it requires excellent drawing skills and attention to fine details. The medium does not allow for many mistakes and the artist must be able to convey many different textures all with just lines or dots. Large and complex pieces can take hundreds of hours to complete. Cathy also enjoys working in graphite pencil, oil paints, color pencil, and pastels from time to time.
Cathy is a founding member and one of the first juried in 'Master Members' (MSA) of the International Society of Scratchboard Artists (founded 2011). She served as exhibition director of ISSA for three years and is president of the organization, at the date of writing. She continues to promote and push scratchboard into top wildlife and western art shows nationwide. She has been invited to exhibit her work in many prestigious museums throughout the U.S. as well, and her work has been added to multiple museum permanent collections.
Cathy first started exhibiting her work and entering national juried shows in 2008. That same year Cathy also applied to the prestigious Society of Animal Artists for membership and was delighted to be selected as a signature member (top membership ranking) on her first try. Continuing her journey into the professional art world her list of awards continues to grow each year, as does her list of top-tier exhibitions that she is invited to participate in.
Cathy's professional associations include Master Member (and one of the founders) of the International Society of Scratchboard Artists (ISSA) and Signature Member of the Society of Animal Artists (SAA).
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