Creative Sonoma

Catherine Cruz

Multi-Media; Teacher/Instructor: Teaching Artist for Adults, Teaching Artist for Youth; Mixed Media and Abstract Collage
Catherine Cruz



Artist Statement

Catherine B Cruz is a French-American abstract artist who works with mixed media, multi-layered collage, and reclaimed materials. Informed by more than twenty-five years of experience in the design world, Catherine takes inspiration from a unique perspective, which spans architecture, interior design, and sustainability.

Her art work is informed by textures and patterns created by the passing of time and the effects of the natural elements on the built environment.  A walk in any city like New York, Paris or Barcelona, is always a source of inspiration. In the process of observing the contrast between new and old architecture, the textures of walls, the torn posters, and the typography on the storefronts, she creates her own visual vocabulary that she utilizes in her mixed media work.

She is also attracted to textures found in the rural environment such as old wooden fences, painted barns, and rusted metal that she photographs, analyzes and abstracts.  She is not interested in replicating them but instead she lets them inform her art.

As a predominantly self-taught artist, she has developed her style by exploring materials and techniques. Her abstract vocabulary is based on intuitive mark making, lines and forms, as well as the exploration of visual and tactile textures and a good understanding of color.  Her process involves layering materials on wood panels or canvas such as her own painted papers, vintage papers, paint, graphite, and oil pastels. The layers are often sanded to reveal patterns and details.

Artist Biography

Catherine was born in Mantes-la-Jolie, France, not too far from Claude Monet’s home and gardens.  She grew up in several places including Versailles and the Cote d’Azur, attending high school in Cannes.  While a teenager, she was an exchange student near Nashville, Tennessee, and later on she moved to the US on her own to attend college.

She received a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design (Cum Laude) from Florida State University in 1993 and had a successful career as residential and commercial interior designer, followed by a second career and the creation of her own business, C2 Green Solutions, as a LEED-accredited green building consultant working with international architectural firms in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York, and Houston.

Always an avid learner, she has studied art history, color theory, painting, classical figure drawing, perspective, printing, and pottery in both France and the US.

Her passion is to encourage others to unleash their creativity, experiment with materials, and connect with their imagination.  In 2018 she created Be You Art Studio and launched her creative workshops for children and adults.  She shares her time between Sebastopol, California, and Valence, France, with her husband and her son.