May 2021 Issue
About the Cover Artist — Catherine Durrett
By Kelly Hunter
Catherine Durrett was born in Atlanta to artist parents Barbara McFadyen and Joe Durrett. She and her brother spent their childhood traveling and living across America. Through these adventures, Catherine was exposed to an inspirational and complex cross-section of people and their everyday joys and struggles. Together with her parents’ bold, colorful serigraphs and detailed etchings, her experiences have shaped her ever-evolving style. Catherine says, “If you’re a true artist, you grow and change.”
Other influences include Alphonse Mucha, Peter Max, Maxfield Parrish, Georgia O’Keefe and Kathe Kollwitz. Catherine honed her artistic skills at Portland Art Museum School, Atlanta College of Art, Art Institute of Atlanta, NYC School of Visual Arts, NYC Pratt Phoenix, and through private tutoring. She has enjoyed group and solo shows in New York City, been published in Jezebel magazine and painted four panels for the original AIDS Quilt, which hangs in the White House.
In addition to her acrylic on canvas paintings, Catherine operates Pena Haku, a business through which she is commissioned to create murals, faux treatments, trompe l’oeil, and interior painting. Her work is featured in several private homes and businesses throughout the Atlanta area. Through her murals, Catherine has certainly left her mark on Coastal Georgia since her return to the area a few years ago. Her murals may be seen all over Brunswick and St. Simons Island, both inside and outside businesses and homes. She has also created detailed sets for A Christmas Carol and Golden Isles Penguin Project Presents Shrek the Musical, Jr. at the Historic Ritz Theatre in Downtown Brunswick.
Mermaid Mommy, our cover art for this month, is an indirect product of the pandemic. When the shutdown started last year, Catherine suddenly found herself with quite a bit of time on her hands. With her usual large-scale projects suddenly on hold, she was able to devote herself to smaller-scale commissions. A life-long friend, who lives in Charleston, SC, has very limited wall space and happens to love mermaids, needed something small. Thus, our cover was born! The original is only a bit larger than our magazine, at 12”x16”.
Catherine is an artist with impeccable technical skill and a sharp sense of humor, both of which are evident in her work. As she says, “I love that people laugh when they see my work.” Whether she’s playing on words, as in Barking Up the Wrong Tree, or turning well-known fables and fairy tales on their heads with pieces like Fox and Crow or Henny Penny, Catherine’s work is bound to bring a smile (or a smirk) to your face. Take a closer look at her paintings, and you’ll notice that she signs them, “Duret.” Catherine explains that she likes the French spelling of her name, because “It’s fancy!”