About the Artist
I grew up in the foothills of Altadena, California, and was pretty much born with a pencil as an extra appendage; I can’t remember a time when I was not processing everything around me through drawing. At an early age I developed an interest in flora and fauna, especially birds. My father taught me to bird watch when I was too young to know better, taking me on birding trips across the country, and both parents encouraged me by placing binoculars, cameras, and drawing implements into my hands at every opportunity.
As a more contrary teenager, I abandoned my little world of birds for the worlds of music and contemporary art. I left the West Coast to pursue studies in fine arts, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Master of Fine Arts from Bennington College. Somewhere along the way I found myself teaching painting and drawing at RISD, happily whiling away my time in studio and the classroom, and somewhere further along the way I found myself hospitalized for anaphylaxis and nursing a host of newly discovered, rather severe allergies. It turns out that some of the chemicals involved in oil painting (my all-encompassing love) are not really good for you, and that they can sneak up and truly mess up your life.
Contemplating life without a central passion, career, and focus (I not only had to quit painting for good, I also had to leave teaching), I picked up a pair of binoculars that had been sitting idly in a drawer—a birthday present from my father—and began walking around wildlife refuges. Then I started making lists and illustrations of what I found. I started my first birding blog in 2003, a handwritten journal I assumed no one would ever see, and I have since never looked back.
I currently live and work in New York City, juggling an urban, art-filled life in studio with my obsession for most things avian. When you can’t find me, it’s because I’m out birding.
—Catherine Hamilton, New York City
- My first, handwritten blog can be seen here
- My current blog is Birdspot
- And I am on Twitter, as well, as @birdspot