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Meet Catherine Tirr of Catherine Tirr Studio in Topanga Canyon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Catherine Tirr.

Catherine, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was raised in England, studied in London, then won a scholarship to study fine art at Cranbrook Art Academy, Michigan. Painting has always been a passion of mine and each body of work I get involved with leads me into new directions of exploration. I work with different mediums, depending on what seems appropriate for the subject. I first moved to Topanga Canyon after the fire and earthquake of the 90’s. I found myself doing charcoal drawings of plant life, with the burned sticks I picked up while out walking. I later went into mixed media work, which burst beyond the frame of the canvas while exploring, the movement of tectonic plates. Water color and ink seemed most appropriate when I attempted to convey the translucency of water, in the
“Pacific Rim” series. I have always been conscious of my environment and began to get involved in creek restoration efforts in my neighborhood. A series entitled “Saturation”, was a direct result of my outrage at the BP oil spill and its effect on our planet. On large format acrylics, I have explored a kind of dreamscape and memory bank, the title of the series is “The Colour of Hindsight”. Currently, I am working on very small format oil paintings, small enough to hold in your hand. The focus of this work is about power structure and the monuments that symbolize political power. These are paintings of card structures that I set up as still lives in my studio. The faces of the cards are all blank.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Being creative is never a smooth path. I have had periods when I felt I would never make a good painting again. Usually after finishing each body of work, I go through that lull. It is because I am searching for something meaningful to say. I do not always have commissions lined up so it is really a soul searching endeavor. It is important to reflect the time you live in and to present those thoughts and feelings in a unique, personal way. You also hope that this will resonate with your audience.

That is often extremely difficult.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Catherine Tirr Studio – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am a fine artist. I work with a variety of media. I am probably most known for my water colors.

I am most proud of my ability to convey real emotions with a visual language that is often quite abstract. I do not hit the viewer over the head with an image. I present imagery that keeps the interest of an audience over time, Often people discover new things in the paintings each time they view them.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am still working on the “Monuments” series. It is too soon to say where the next source of inspiration will come from.


  • Works on paper prices range from $100-$3,200
  • Canvases range from $900-$12,000

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Instagram: Catherine Tirr
  • Facebook: Catherine Tirr

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