Artist Statement:  “ Spirit of place : Isle of Iona” 

The Isle of Iona is a small wind swept island that lies in the Scottish inner Hebrides, steeped in history, and Celtic mythology, it is known as one of the worlds “thin places” where the sacred and secular meet.  For centuries, especially since the 1800s, artists, painters, poets, musicians, the religious and the spiritual have been drawn and inspired by the Isle of Iona. 

The work in this exhibition was compiled from four different visits to the island from 2009-2015. On each visit I felt I had a job to draw, paint, sketch, be creative and listen to my “still inner voice”, not only as part of my own journey, but also to bring a little bit of Iona to others. I discovered that each trip had its own invitation, exploration and new beginnings. 

Iona calls to me energetically, there is a sense of replenishing and renewal, a heightened sense of energy that moves me artistically.   When I am there I do not feel the need to sleep and feel like my body is being rocked and wants to be creative. My work is informed by the beauty of nature and the nature of spirit found on the island.

I paint plein air (outside), in my room overlooking the Abbey and in the tiny, ancient Chapels, trying to capture the essence of the experience. My artwork done on Iona ranges from photography to watercolour, to oil touch drawings and veil paintings. While there, my perspectives are altered and I have moments where I truly pay attention and translate the experiences that infuse me.  
Iona is an extraordinary place of geology, archeology and spirituality.  The air in Iona is different, other worldly and timeless, full of paradoxes, simple/complex, present time/timeless, meditative /energetic, silent/noisy.   I look forward to my next visit….. and new artistic expressions.  

Want to learn more?  

Please visit Catherine Fraser's webpage:

To learn more about Catherine's current exhibit, please visit:

Artist Bio

Catherine has painted professionally since 1983 with art studios in Victoria and the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, BC Canada.  She works in oils, acrylic, watercolour, graphite and pastels, and is constantly exploring and experimenting with new artistic responses to the world around her.  Catherine has a love of nature and plein air painting using watercolours and acrylic paints. 

Catherine is an accomplished and award-winning artist, having exhibited in over 25 one-woman shows, her artwork has been selected into juried shows and she has received many awards.  Catherine’s work is inspired and informed by an interest in colour, spirituality and exploring inner and outer sacred space.   

Catherine divides her time between three careers as nurse, artist and art therapist.  In all aspects of her life she has woven a thread of spirituality and creativity.