CAT OUTRAM

Cat is a successful printmaker based in Edinburgh and one of the featured artists in the 2011 Festival exhibition, Four Artists, One City. Here she discusses the inspiration behind some of her most popular etchings.

'I have worked all my adult life in the centre of Edinburgh and have been lucky to spend a lot of my time in and amongst the old and new town streets of this city. Many years ago a potential customer asked me if I had ever done a picture of the steps from India Street. I hadn't but went to look and was struck immediately by the possibilities; I realised steps and stairways are very much a feature of the old and new towns, built as they are on hills. I have done a whole series now, of which three new town views are in this exhibition. Abercromby Place is where one of my favourite galleries is, The Open Eye, just across and down the road a bit from here. Wemyss Place is one I used to pass by on my way to Rae Macs the music shop, when my son still played the violin; and Royal Circus is passed on the way to Stockbridge, a part of town where there used to be a gallery that stocked my work when I first started.

But what I really love most about this city are the parks and open green spaces. I grew up in a house on the edge of the Queens Park and many of my first etchings were of views from there. For this exhibition I have included: 'Spring Light in the Park' which is a view of the Meadows around March-time. I got to know this park well when I was a student at the art college and the central walk is one of my all-time favourite views. I love the shape and grandeur of the ranks of trees in all the seasons. 'The Castle from the Gardens' is pretty self-explanatory. This view of the castle is one of my first memories as a girl when we came here in 1966; I was so excited to be going to live in a place with its own castle. I have to say my 7 year old self was very disappointed, not at all what I imagined. But I have grown to love it since and the gardens it stands above, from the Princes Street side. Finally, 'Braidburn Park at Dusk' is a picture I did after the experience of walking home from a friend's house, early one evening around October time. I'd declined the offer of a lift and decided to walk through the park instead of sticking to the road and maybe catching a bus. The light was beautiful. The colours glowed and that is what I have attempted to show here. My memory of it was of spots of particular colours, seen quite separately'.


CAT OUTRAM

SPRING LIGHT IN THE PARK

Etching

CAT OUTRAM

BRAIDBURN PARK AT DUSK

Etching

CAT OUTRAM

ABERCROMBY PLACE

Etching

14.5 x 21cm (6 x 8in)

CAT OUTRAM

ROYAL CIRCUS

Etching

14.5 x 21cm (6 x 8in)

CAT OUTRAM

WEMYSS PLACE

Etching

13.5 x 21cm (5.5 x 8in)

CAT OUTRAM

BOTANICS SKYLINE

Etching