Artist You Need to Know: Catherine Stenhjem

Monday, April 2, 2018

Mon Petit Chou! - By. Catherine Stenhjem

I'm always on the hunt to find beautiful, stylish art. The kind of work that will complement both my bold spirit and space and will guarantee a wide smile every time I glance at it.
Luckily, I recently stumbled upon an image (Mon Petit Chou!) that was everything I was looking for -- equal parts whimsy and stylish -- this piece was stunningly done and I needed to find the artist behind this lovely painting.

The artist who created that painting was Catherine Stenhjem, an incredible artist from Arizona who beautifully illustrates awe-inspiring images both imagined and present. Much like the fashionable painting that initially sparked my interest in her work, her collections of paintings each vividly portray striking imagery that leave you wondering more about their backstory. Bold, regal animals like big wild cats (panthers, lions, tigers) and strong horses and more, along with fantastical folklore-inspired styles are common motifs in her work. Having spent some time living abroad in Iran, the warm and classic elegance of old Persia can also be seen in her paintings. Whether creating fancy fantasy worlds or striking portraits, Catherine's style of art is certainly captivating.

Catherine Stenhjem

The Beautiful Gypsy Girl & her Fairy Friends - By. Catherine Stenhjem

As a personal fan of majestic wild cats, I was struck by her style of incorporating these beautiful creatures in her flawless portrait work. Vividly illustrating both, Catherine's unique skill of meticulously perfecting every detail is what sets her work apart from most artists. The results are extraordinarily lively images that are sure to enchant every viewer. Her impressive attention to fine-tuning the details of every piece, while creating an almost multi-dimensional layering of color, Catherine's intense passion for art and storytelling with her paintbrush is wildly evident in every one of her pieces. When I received my very own Catherine Stenhjem painting, I soon learned that this luxurious style of painting was even more magnificent in person.

A Golden Spirti - By. Catherine Stenhjem

So Dreams The Lotus - By. Catherine Stenhjem

With impressive versatility, Catherine's artistic talents extend beyond the finest of papers. She also paints her exquisite signature designs on leather accessories with the same vibrancy and expert technique seen in her paintings. Additionally, Catherine's special collection of  original paintings can be purchased as cards. Using high quality paper materials, Catherine has taken classic greeting cards to the next level. A gift itself, her beautiful art cards feature an original hand-painted piece of art along with a blank insert to detail your personal messages -- all of which are presented with a chic ribbon closer and beautiful envelope. While these fancy art cards are beautiful on their own, these smaller works can also be framed.

It's rare to see an artist exhibit their unique works in such a varied fashion -- Catherine expertly does it without sacrificing quality or authenticity.

Catherine Stenhjem Art Cards

While admiring her work from a far (aka stalking her consistently impressive instagram), I received a message from Catherine herself. She generously offered to paint my portrait and I was just incredibly honored to become one of Catherine Stenhjem's Enchanting Girls. Already a major fan of her style and just blown away by her creative interpretations of all her previous portrait models, I knew my very own portrait wouldn't disappoint.

I've only had my portrait done once before by an amature student in my college drawing class and was pretty horrified by the results. Every feature I've always been teased about or troubled by was highlighted in a very unfortunate fashion. To now have a chance to have my portrait redone by a professional, I was hopeful that those feelings would not be revisited.

The final result was something I'd never imagined. Coupled with her signature regal black panther, Catherine not only painted my face with exceptional accuracy and depth, but created a sharp richness with every stroke that was beyond stunning. It was bold, it was intense and simply mesmerizing. Both interpretations illustrated a beautiful story: a royal pairing of a strong beauty with her equally fierce cat companion. To say I was blown away would be an understatement. I believe that's what Catherine's work expertly does. It immediately captures your attention and speaks volumes. Each stroke of her brush paints an emotion that frames each piece's unique story. For me, Catherine made me royalty, and I couldn't be more appreciative.

Beloved - By. Catherine Stenhjem

A Golden Time Royalty - By. Catherine Stenhjem

The kindness she extended to me through this unique experience and gifting me a lovely pair of portraits will be remembered for a lifetime. These paintings (along with a collection of her other work)  will be enjoyed and cherished. These vibrant works have lit up my home in so many ways. Her love for painting enchanting faces and capturing their essence is a she's mastered through her many years as an art professional. It also highlights how she truly connects with her subjects in such positivity  and light.

In my  chats with her I soon learned that Catherine is much like the work she creates -- beautiful. A beautiful individual with equally stunning heart, Catherine's philosophy on art is one that many can appreciate. She explained that while original art is luxury, it shouldn't only be available at steep price tags. In effort to share her work with more of her passionate and art-loving audience, she has lowered the rates of her work and will often host giveaways of her work on instagram. Additionally, she has generously chosen to sell all of her art, especially her  folkoric art series which centers around fantasy and fairies with each piece depicting a unique story. 

Catherine Stenhjem 

In learning more about her work, I was very moved by her contributions to animal-centric charities. Having an immense passion for the welfare and protection of animals, this connection is seen throughout many aspects of her work. She continues to support such charities with a bulk of the proceeds of her art sales going to animal rescue organizations, her favorite being Rancho Relaxo

Catherine's professionalism coupled with her passion and dedication to creating and delivering high quality original designs make her a unique and noteworthy artist. 
Though, it is her kindness and generous, inspiring spirit that make her a truly lovely woman.  

Thank you, Catherine. It was such a great experience getting to speak with you about art, the world and outstanding women making a difference in their respective fields. 
I cannot verbalize enough how much these personal pieces of art mean to me and how much they are appeciated and loved. Your work is truly magical. 

Catherine's work beautifully embellishes a space and are sure to become fast favorites! From her beautifully bold and consistent high quality work to her stunning, original designs, I couldn't recommend her more! She's just brilliant! 

Contact Catherine Stenhjem

About Rancho Relaxo
Upon rescuing a lovely mustang named Halona, Caitlin Cimini was unaware that her heartfelt rescue would soon lead to her to a lovely farm she'd ultimately transform into Rancho Relaxo, an animal advocacy nonprofit. Caitlin's story is pretty incredible as is the terrific work she and her team are doing to better the lives of animals. 

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