Catherine Hiller: The power of expression through colour

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  • By: KERRY-ANNE BLANKET
  • Thursday 27th July 2017
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KAB Gallery are excited to welcome Catherine Hiller to Contempo at KAB month this August. Catherine’s gorgeous abstract oil paintings, often titled in her native French, are honest and raw portrayals of her inner-most thoughts and emotions – told in the rawest form possible through the universal language of colour. Melbourne based since moving to Australia almost 14 years ago, Catherine is incredibly popular worldwide throughout social media and the online art loving community.

Like most professional artists, it took Catherine Hiller many years to arrive at a painting style she enjoyed and felt best illustrated the messages she wished to convey to her audience. Starting out as a realist painter over 30 years ago, Catherine has moulded the classical techniques she learnt during this earlier stage of her career into several different bodies of work. Feeling the urge to paint in a more expressionist way using strong coloured brush strokes and movement lead Catherine mid-career into her well-known Entangled series. Over a period of 10 years this series focused on couples, portraying emotion through colour and movement.

Ultimately around 10 years ago the Entangled series began to feel redundant. Catherine’s current series was born from this realisation, finding that she was beginning to enjoy the abstract style more and more for its freedom to express her emotions honestly and absolutely, through colour in the rawest possible form.

Catherine Hiller’s Les Papillons (Oil on linen, 93x123cm)
Catherine Hiller’s studio is as bright and harmonious as her paintings

Catherine works exclusively in oils, typically favouring the best brands such as Gamblin, Schmincke, Artist Spectrum and Sennelier. While she has worked in acrylic in the past, she loves the richness and luxe of oil paint – “I love the way it glides on linen”. Her abstracts always start with the darker pigments that are then built up with multiple colourful layers. Catherine told me that her layering process “symbolises the up and downs of life with the overwhelming positivity and resilience that I choose to adopt in my life.” 

Tools of the trade – a small selection of Catherine Hiller’s used oil paint tubes

Catherine is a dedicated professional artist and paints in her studio every day – rain, hail, or shine. I recently spoke to her on the phone while she was in the studio working on an icy Melbourne morning. Lightheartedly Catherine mentioned her love for a particularly warm “heated” coat she wears – I think we’ve all wanted one of those some days! Her typical workday begins with a walk on the beach with her canine companion Buddy, then they both head to the studio from about 9.30am till about 1pm. “I channel all the energy I have into my paintings, so I usually feel quite drained by then and walk back home to work on the more mundane tasks that are part of being an artist!” she says.

KAB Gallery will be showcasing several of Catherine Hiller’s works during Comtempo at KAB Gallery month in August. Make sure you check out her Contempo works as soon as they are released – with such a huge demand for her beautiful works they definitely won’t be around for long!

Catherine Hiller
Alizees
Oil on Canvas (93x123cm)
$2450
KERRY-ANNE BLANKET, Director & Curator - KAB Gallery
About the author

KERRY-ANNE BLANKET

Director & Curator - KAB Gallery

KAB Gallery’s Kerry-Anne Blanket holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts and two Masters degrees (Hons) from the University of Sydney. With an extensive career in art education along with the management of museums and investment art galleries, Kerry-Anne can offer premier art consulting to her clients and source specially requested works. 

She has a keen eye for detail, comprehensive art market knowledge and a love of all things beautiful. Kerry-Anne works directly with artists and collectors alike to curate interesting and eclectic exhibitions.