Catherine Simpson

Celebrating Beauty

Artist Statement

My upbringing included lots of tromping through the woods and swamp behind our home in rural Snohomish County. This was a major element that cultivated my foundational appreciation for the natural world around me and a desire to record it. I fiddled around with photography in my twenties, but it wasn’t until my first digital camera that I began shooting more purposefully.

I strive to share my fascination with the created world, its patterns and mystery, and convey a sense of the Designer. Some images I consider invitations to enter a scene, question what’s at the end of a path or beyond the top of a ridge. With close-up shots, I beckon the viewer to marvel with me at the intricacies of details easily passed over.

My favorite challenge is macro-photography (close-up). When I saw the floral paintings of Georgia O’Keefe in an art history course, I was struck with the beauty she was able to capture in the fraction of a flower. I attempt to convey similar details I observe with a lens and shutter: the veins in a leaf, a rock stuck in weathered driftwood, drops of dew on a flower petal.

I still like to tromp through the woods, but usually do it on trails, and always with my camera. I’m the one who always wants to go a bit farther and higher, look over the edge, or inspect the underbrush; I never want to miss anything.


Artist Biography


Catherine was nurtured in rural Snohomish County, surrounded by a few thousand acres of forest and wetland as her   playground. Year-round, she was always looking under the rocks, inspecting the fine undergrowth and climbing the trees to see what she could see. Post-college, she did some dabbling with photography, but life and family put it on the back-burner, with the exception of the copious photos of her children.

The purchase of a digital camera in the early millennium kick-started the bug again, and the hobby began to reflect Catherine’s love for the outdoors. She did not take her pictures very seriously until working a few years in a retail photo lab. Here, she kept noticing professional’s images that were comparable to what she had amassed in her files. One convinced her that she had something to contribute, and she began shooting more frequently and deliberately.

Her images have evolved to reflect her fascination with the created world. This, in itself, is an outgrowth of her foundational belief in purposeful design and order evident in nature. Her goal in each image is to portray the beauty and intricate complexities that mirror the designer, and evoke a sense of wonder at what surrounds us and is underfoot. Her pictures include minute details in close-up shots to panoramic scenes. At times, patterns in man-made structures have also arrested her lens; these also can echo what is seen in the natural world.

Catherine lives in Covington, Washington with her husband (and computer expert), in a newly-empty nest. She is looking forward to a lot more time to hike and travel, with the camera, of course.

E-mail: simpsonimg@gmail.com