In 1979, Catharine, her husband, and four children purchased the historic mill owners’ mansion in Eatonville, Washington, a rural town 50 miles south of Seattle. The 6000 square foot home, known by the locals as “The Old Mill House” was artistically restored to its Roaring 20’s glory. The third floor servants quarters became the kid’s playrooms and an art room. As the children began to fly the nest I opened a thriving B&B with guest rooms named after 1920’s celebrities like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Will Rogers, Bessy Smith, and Isadora Duncan. I pioneered the concept of overnight murder mysteries. The Speakeasy in the basement of the house was used frequently for acoustic music concerts, theme parties, and theatric events.
I knew as a child I would be an artist. When asked what I wanted for a birthday or Christmas it was always something like a roll of butcher paper, a new set of pens, or maybe a sketchbook. I drew all the time and tried every craft I could get my hands on!
In the late 60s, out of college with a fine art degree, and an unwillingness to move to art centers like New York or LA, I was introduced to and became obsessed with textile arts. I learned to spin and weave, knit, and crochet. I learned both chemical and natural dye techniques. I built my first loom and launched a spinning and weaving tool manufacturing business with my husband. It later evolved into small scale manufacturing or Windsor chairs.
We moved to Santa Cruz, California in the early ’70s with our toddler where I opened a textile art studio. I created commissioned woven wall hangings, produced and wholesaled a line of handspun, hand-dyed yarns, and taught textile arts. I won the Artistic Excellence Award at the National Weavers Conference four years in a row.
Realizing that my true passion was 2 dimensional art I returned to school. In 1988, I graduated with honors from the Art Institute of Seattle and launched a successful Graphic Design / Commercial Illustration business. I became involved in children’s art and created beautiful CD covers, stage sets, puppets, and costumes for A&M recording artists Linda Arnold, and CD covers for Sherry Lewis and Lamb Chops. I was also a pioneer in web site development and became recognized for producing elegant, easy to navigate, easily found web sites for Northwest companies like Paccar and Weyerhaeuser. I illustrated several books including “Words Hurt” and “The Boy Who sat by the Window” by Chris Loftis.
In 1995 Phil Freeman and I merged our businesses, as well as personal lives. We moved to Seattle overlooking Lake Washington where we operated AmeriCAM a successful video production and graphic design firm. I mastered video editing and videography over the next few years.
Together we purchased a few getaway cabins and created greatgetaways.com, a website designed to market “out of the ordinary” vacation rental cabins.
We sold AmeriCAM in 2002, ending my career as a commercial illustrator and graphic designer.
We moved to Ashford Washington, right outside of Mt. Rainier National Park where my art was redirected to restoring Copper Creek Inn, Cabins, and Lodge. Over the next 20 years, we turned a run-down lodge, cabins, and restaurant into a thriving business.
Now, turning over the business to my son and daughter-in-law, we have purchased a Puget Sound waterfront home. A newly built Art Studio that provides an incredible inspiring workspace. Finally, I am an artist! t
“After years of diversions, (textile arts, woodworking, commercial graphic design and illustration, remodeling cabins, and building a thriving vacation rental business) Catharine brings her unique sense of beauty, trained eye for composition and color, and extraordinary skill level to her canvas, and for that matter, every aspect of her life.”