seraphin gallery, philadelphia, art gallery, fine art, contemporary art, Catherine Prescott
"Painting is a way of making something my own. It’s natural for me to turn things that move me into an image, whether I am reading, thinking, or looking. Degas wrote that it is all very well to paint what you see, but it is better to paint what you see in your head; then you will be free from the “tyranny of nature.” As carefully as I look, I’m not painting what I see. I alter, reduce, obliterate, or exaggerate each thing that I encounter and at the same time try to make it convincing.
All of these works have a narrative, but they are not illustrations or symbols of a story. They are what they look like. John Updike wrote, “Precision is where the passion begins.” The act of painting is so private and so difficult that I can find my way only by being committed to changing and changing, painting and re-painting, until I see precisely what I care about.
I don’t know anybody who doesn’t want to be known. C.S. Lewis wrote, “We read to know we’re not alone.” I look at paintings to know I’m not alone. If I can take something visible and make it communicate something invisible, I can hope to trigger recognition in another person."
Catherine Prescott is an award-winning painter from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. This year her work was chosen for an historical exhibit of Pennsylvania artists at the State Museum in honor of the inauguration of Governor Tom Wolfe. In 2014 she received the Purchase Award and First Prize in Works on Paper at the State Museum of Pennsylvania's annual juried show, “Art of the State.” In 2012 she was one of 48 Finalists chosen from over 3,000 entries for the Outwin-Boochever Portrait Competition at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian, Washington D.C. Also in 2012 she had a solo show at Hersh Fine Art, and was awarded Honorable Mention I in the Portrait Society of America members-only competition. In 2011 she won 4th place in the same annual competition and was a finalist in the ACOPAL competition, America China Oil Painting Artists League. She was one of ten women invited to participate in “Inspiring Figures,” a portrait exhibition at The Butler Institute of American Art in 2010. That same year she won the Salmagundi Club Award in the C.L. Wolfe Competition at The National Arts Club in New York. She is the recipient of a 2008 Individual Artist's Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She has won 11 First, Second or Best of Show awards in Pennsylvania juried exhibits. Her work was also chosen for the inaugural Outwin-Boochever Portrait Competition held by the National Portrait Gallery in 2006.
Group invitationals include “Women Painting Women,” Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA in 2012, 2013, and 2014, Women Painting Women, Robert Lange Studios, Charleston, S.C., “Figurative,” at Katharina Rich Perlow, NY, NY, and “Portraiture, a Philadelphia Tradition” in Wayne, PA. One-person exhibits include Hersh Fine Art, Glen Cove, NY, the Phillips Museum, Lancaster, PA, the Pennsylvania College of Technology, Williamsport, PA, and YorkArts, York, PA. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Image, American Arts Quarterly, The Art of The Portrait, and American Art Collector.
Her work is represented by Seraphin Gallery, Philadelphia, PA.
Prescott taught painting and drawing at Messiah College for 20 years, and has been a guest professor at Andreeva Portrait Academy, The Glen Workshop, Image Summer Institute, and six courses at the Gordon College Orvieto Program in Orvieto, Italy. She has written on the subject of portraits as art. Her commissioned portraits have been widely collected