Catherine grew up in Aiken, South Carolina, and has been in the arts all her life. Her mother is also an artist. Catherine has been drawing and painting since childhood. She often had a sketch book in her hands, capturing fleeting images of people, gestures, and faces.
Catherine has a deep love for birds and nature. Her work features birds, animals, and people, sometimes in surreal landscapes. She loves color and is influenced by impressionism and surrealism. She loves to paint portraits and figures. Working from a live model is one of her favorite past times.
Her earliest work was completed in the mid 1980’s, shortly after graduating from Middle Tennessee State University. She earned a BFA in graphic design, art history, and photography. She moved to an organic vegetable farm near Brewster, NY. She molded for artists and took drawing and painting classes from many of them. She attended the first year of a graduate program in illustration at School of Visual Arts in NYC. She sketched people in parks, night clubs, and subways. Her time in NYC inspired her greatly.
Her current work, acrylic on canvas, has been produced since 2018. Catherine decided it was time to pick up her paintbrush again when her friend and mentor, Dunya, asked her to create a painting from a sketch she did during the 2018 Summer Movement Monastery retreat in New Mexico.
Catherine returned home with a renewed interest in art, after many years pursuing careers in belly dance and massage therapy.
Catherine Ryder holding
"South Carolina Pelican"
"Dunya At Ravenrock" 16 by 20
Portrait of Catherine's Dance Meditation teacher; in her element; on a mesa in New Mexico.