Coochie gets crafty in the cold

COOCHIE ARTIST: Catherine Bishop is among the artists displaying at the Coochie Handmade Winter market on June 24.

COOCHIE ARTIST: Catherine Bishop is among the artists displaying at the Coochie Handmade Winter market on June 24.

Coochiemudlo artists are warming into winter with a Coochie Handmade Winter market from 11am to 3pm on Saturday, June 24 at Red Rock Cafe, next to Main Beach.

Presented will be a selection of ceramics, paintings, tableware, jewellery, fibreart and candles.

Among the artists is Catherine Bishop who came to the island from France in 1997.

Ms Bishop said it was on the island that she discovered her love and talent for painting, and found the encouragement and support to improve her techniques and styles. Inspired by her direct environment, she captures the colours of Coochiemudlo’s skies and the bay in any season. She also produces a very wide range of other motives, following her mood of the day.

Ms Bishop’s works have been shown in several expositions in Queensland and she has also won several awards.  She takes part regularly at the Coochiemudlo foreshore and handmade  pop-up markets.

The Coochiemudlo handmade markets have been created as an initiative of local artists and working with to have one market event on the island every month, alternating with the five traditional foreshore markets on Australia Day, Easter, Flinders Day (on July 23) and in September and November.

Ms Bishop talks about what brought her to this point in her artistic career:

Question: Could you tell us where you are from and what brought you to Coochie in the first place, and when did you move here ?

Catherine Bishop: I was born and raised in Montmartre in Paris from a French mother and a Greek father. I moved to Australia in 1994 and soon settled on Coochiemudlo Island. 

Question:  How did you discover your creative side, ie what brought you to painting?

Catherine Bishop: I started my artistic endeavours with Ikebana (Japanese floral art) when still living in Paris. Pushed by friends who thought I had a talent for drawing, I eventually started painting in about 1997. 

Question: Your paintings show a wide array of techniques, styles and motives.  Tell us more about what you do. 

Catherine Bishop: The subject of my paintings really depends on the inspiration of the day. I work in all kinds of mediums and styles,  my preference being oils with an affinity for seascapes.”

Question: Is there any (known or not so known) artists that have inspired your style of paintings or at least some of them ?

Catherine Bishop: I have had different tutors over the last decade, but Donald James Water, who was a regular tutor at the Coochie Art Group certainly had a great impact on my motivation to continue to explore my creativity. 

Question: You are fabricating and selling colourful and practical hairbands as well. Can you tell us more about this creative craft project?

Catherine Bishop: I have seen similar headbands during a trip to Greece two years ago and liked the idea. So I found some beautiful materials and made my own version now. With the light wire inside, they are pliable into any shape, making them a very fun and versatile accessory for young and old. 

Question: Your atmospheric land- and seascapes perfectly capture the serenity of Coochiemudlo Island. Do you find particular inspiration from the island life?

Catherine Bishop: I often take photos walking on Coochiemudlo’s beaches and I sometimes use these for paintings, but I also sketch on site to capture the scenery. There is beauty in every weather condition on Coochie waters. 

Question: You have and still are been exposing and selling your art in other places. Can you say what makes the Coochiemudlo markets special to you and maybe also to the public ?

Catherine Bishop: I take part in different exhibitions in a radius of around 100km and I have received various prizes and awards over the years. The Coochie foreshore markets are a real community event - fun, casual and right next to the beach. The more recently started Coochie Handmade Pop-Up Markets inside the Red Rock Café are more intimate and centred on local art. Both markets are special to me.