Michigan artist shares love of the sparrow at Birds In Art residency

By  | 

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW)-- Catherine McClung has been painting for more than 40 years.

image from video shot by WSAW in September 2019

"I was smitten with birds from an early age."

The Toronto native, who now lives in Spring Lake, Michigan, was once an 8th grade science teacher.

"After my daughter was born, I was looking for business to do out of my home," McClung said.

After an experiment or two, a friend of McClung's gave her the advice she needed to hear.

"If I could paint like you, that's what I would do."

She never looked back. Fine tuning her craft to what it is today, primarily working with watercolors and often incorporating gold and silver leaf.

"Been always fascinated with the beauty of watercolor and the immediacy of it. How your pigment reacts with water and how luminous it can be because of your white paper behind your pigments."

McClung has participated in Birds in Art about a dozen times over the last 37 years, seeing tremendous growth from not only her fellow artists, but herself.

"I'm sure if I had a painting like I did in 1982 it would never get in," she said with a smile.

Mcclung says like most artists she ignored the sparrow until a couple of years ago.

Her residency at the museum starts Thursday and runs through Sunday.