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

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