Studio Visit - Catherine Zimdahl

Studio Visit - Catherine Zimdahl

We love taking a look inside the studio of our artists and seeing the space where they create their art. Today, Catherine Zimdahl shares with us photos of her studio, and talks about her inspiration behind each painting:

Studio Visit - Catherine Zimdahl

Catherine Zimdahl - artist studio

Catherine Zimdahl - artist studio

Catherine Zimdahl - artist studio

Catherine Zimdahl - artist studio

The Raging Eye

– I had one of those beautiful experiences when time dissolves while working on this painting. I do know it took a long time because the painting is so worked over and very tactile. As is in most of paintings, I’m trying to capture my inner energy and this is the raging life of the mind’s eye.

Force of Nature

– I had had a break from painting for longer than I had ever had and was worried I wouldn’t be able to do it. So I began very gently and followed the form and structure as it became clearer and flowed. I had to fight for this painting or rather stop myself from destroying it with one stupid move. I know I wanted to create a sensation of the sublime but I had to stop trying to get ahead of myself. Some have seen fire in it. But I see nature blooming.

A Tear Magnified to the Power

– This painting was an experiment in blues. It was a totally absorbing experience even though the painting took such a long time. When I finished it I stood back and looked at the work and thought it’s so oceanic. But then as I was setting the painting down to dry I noticed a small rip (since mended) in the canvas. I was initially upset until I realised it spoke to the themes - the ‘tear’ was a sob of magnified oceanic feeling.

The Night of the Solar Flare

– Any time I visit the AGNSW I always take a moment to look at the Fred Williams paintings of the Australian landscape. I thought I would try and respond however my colours took on a life of their own and it evolved into the sun. Coincidently I found out the next day there had been a solar flare the night I painted it.

Optimize My Eyes

– I’d begun this one by trying to replicate a small study I painted in acrylics however there is always a point where you have to let go of the study and follow the internal logic of the new painting. So it became an experiment in using opposite colours against the gold in order to find a mesmeric organic form.


– It is about a wish for alchemy which asks a lot of a painting!

Your Beautiful Wave

– I had a beautiful diary when I worked on this one and in it were extraordinary Japanese artists from the 19th Century like Hokusai. It became clear I was honouring his art when painting this. I also loved how the crest of the wave was such a wonderful metaphor for the creative impulse.

For My Eternal

– This one was worked on and on and time didn’t dissolve in the process. It was a fight to find the painting. I remember my mind following strings of associations as I worked on it – memories, songs, images, the future, self talk. I think the painting is full of reverie as it searches for what could be an eternal love or soul or sin…

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