As a child I loved to draw, sew and make things. Later photography, portraiture and gardening became favorite activities as well. In about 1995 I discovered soft pastels as a wonderful medium for portraits, landscapes and still life. It is still my medium of choice sometimes used with gouache, ink and digital manipulation in illustration.

I became interested in children’s book illustration once I began working at Chemers Gallery where I was surrounded and inspired by not only fine art, but also exceptional original children’s book illustration, some of the best in the industry. Some of my (many) favorite illustrators are David Christiana, Mary Grandpre, Matt Faulkner, and Mary Newell DePalma. I love using the skills I’ve learned from drawing portraits, and landscapes in pastels to “tell a story” with pictures.

Looking back I've always been influenced and encouraged by family members. I watched my father practice sign painting, calligraphy, photography, and oil painting when I was a child. Also, my sister, Crista Forest, is an accomplished wildlife artist. I was fortunate to raise six creative children, whom I’ve learned so much from, especially my two oldest sons, who are professional illustrators.

My husband and I live in California and are now enjoying our nine grandchildren who provide endless inspiration for children’s illustration.

Cathy June Arneson

My Fine Art

My Photography


9 x 13
Pastel on Paper


"A Gift for Princess"
pastel on sanded paper
9 x 12

"Big New Friend"
pastel on textured foamcore
13 x 9

Princess Charlotte
pastel on textured foamcore

"Two Scoops Deluxe"
pastel on paper
9 x 11.5

pastel on sanded paper
7 x 7

Illustration by Cathy June
from the book, "We Eat Food that's Fresh" by Angela Russ-Ayon
(c)2009 Our Rainbow Press
pastel on paper

"Really Into It"
pastel on paper

"Two Creatures in the Night"
9 x 12

"How the Camel Got His Hump"
pastel on paper
17 x 11
"Hungry Blue Fox"
pastel on paper

"Blue Fox meets Goose"
pastel on paper
9.5 x 6.5

"Princess Alexa and Friends"
pastel on paper
12 x 9

"The Little Red Hen"
pastel on paper
10.5 x 13