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Feature Artist ~ Catherine McEwen Whalen

I am excited to share with you my friend and the 
talented  artist Catherine McEwen Whalen! 
Hi Everyone, I’m honored to be a Feature Artist today!   I love Mixed-Media art and especially enjoy incorporating my own photos and vintage items into my work.  I enjoy living in the Pacific Northwest and am passionate about photographing the birds and seashore creatures here.   Decorative papers and ephemera, vintage millinery and buttons, fabrics of all kinds, and found objects from nature are some of my favorite materials both to collect and use in collages.

The “Lepidopterix” shadowbox is a fantasy portrait of my grandmother.  Her portrait was copied onto paper and adhered to heavy card stock.  Her clothing and hat were made on card stock frames covered in silk.  New and vintage trimmings accent the piece, with the highlight being her own small magnifying glass.  Butterflies images were also printed onto card stock and printed in various sizes to give the illusion of them flying off in the distance.   All of the main elements are sewn into place, not glued, with the exception of the butterflies which were adhered with blocks of foam tape.

The two photographic pieces were made using the same techniques on different substrates of ready-made framed canvas and canvas-covered board.  The photos were attached to the background using gel medium by covering the panels with the medium, pressing the photos down, and then covering the top of the photos with gel medium.  Painted accents were then added.   Lightweight spackle medium was used to cover the edges of the photos, and the spackle was continued onto the edges of the canvas and board.  When dry, the spackle was covered in gel medium and then painted.  Words and other embellishments could be added at this stage as well.

The “Castles, Ballerina Cupcakes and Paris” collage was made on a background of decorative scrapbooking paper that was adhered with gel medium to a framed canvas.  Painted accents and collage elements were added.  As in the photo collages, lightweight spackle medium was used to cover the edge-join of the paper to canvas, the spackle was carried over the edges of the canvas, and then the spackle was given a coat of gel medium and then painted. 

Please like Catherine on Facebook here to see more of her photography and art!

Come back tomorrow for more 
Teacups, Tiarras or Mail Art
 as our design team works with 
Unruly Arts themes!


  1. Beautiful work Catherine, as a lover of photographing birds your middle two pieces won my heart at first glance. xx

  2. Your pieces are all wonderful! The piece of your grandmother is my favorite - it is gorgeous!!

  3. You are very talented! The shadowbox with your Grandmother is fabulous!

  4. These are truly stunning! What a wonderful tribute to your grandmother! I just love the project with the two birds.

  5. Lovely work! I particularly like the way you work with photographs in your pieces. Wonderful inspirations!

  6. Catherine, we are so lucky to have you as a featured Artist. Your work in so inspiring! THANKS!

  7. OMG!! Your work is EXQUISITE!! Thank you for sharing!!!

  8. Beautiful art ~ I especially love the shadow box of your grandma! Just lovely!

  9. Thank you all so much for your very kind comments!!

  10. lovely work - glad I got the opportunity to see examples of it!

  11. Awesome canvas pieces. Love each and every one, especially the shadow box of your grandmother!

  12. Such a wonderful set of projects.

  13. Lovely, dreamy pieces, Catherine!


  14. Beautiful work! I am especially drawn to your first piece because I, too, have many vintage family photos that I like to incorporate into my work.


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