Winter 2004 Forward to a Friend

Artist Catherine Wingfield-Yeatts once read that a charmed life isn't something that just happens to you – it's something you create for yourself. She brilliantly applies that principle to her own existence.

Early retirement from careers at Virginia Tech allowed Catherine and her husband, Harry, to pursue their artistic passions full time. "My husband's post-retirement career is art photography," Catherine said. "I paint using watercolors, acrylics and pastels, and I make mixed-media collages."

Blue Suede is a natural outgrowth of Catherine Wingfield-Yeatts' travels in the country.

The couple's 1997 Subaru Outback is a key element in their quest for artistic inspiration. "We like to go on the back roads in the area around Blacksburg and throughout Virginia," Catherine said. "We're always looking for interesting things to paint or photograph and the back roads and small towns offer us plenty of opportunities."

"I really trust the car – its construction, its responsiveness and the way it handles," Catherine added. "It's roomy and comfortable ... perfect for toting our artwork to and from various exhibition venues."

Security is another benefit. "On one of our day trips, I was driving and we decided to go on this nice little paved road," Catherine explained. "Very soon, though, it turned into a nasty dirt road over a mountain. The road had no guardrails and the drop was extremely steep. It had no shoulders and was barely wide enough for one car. As I crested the top and started down, the dirt turned muddy. The road had lots of hairpin turns, and I could feel the anti-lock mechanism kick in. I was so happy to feel that, and know we were safe in the car."

In February, one of Catherine's watercolor paintings, entitled Blue Suede, was accepted in the 16th International Exhibition of Animals in Art, held by the School of Veterinary Medicine at Louisiana State University.

According to Catherine, Blue Suede was a natural outgrowth of her travels in the country. "When we go out on our 'photo shoots' in the Outback, cows are a big part of the rural landscape," she said. "Black, white, brown, spotted – so I figured why not blue, too!"

A charmed life, indeed.

Catherine Wingfield-Yeatts lives in Blacksburg, Virginia, with her husband and two cats. At present, she is working on several series, including rural landscapes in watercolors and gouache.

View her artwork online at