I first became familiar with Caitlin McGauley’s watercolors through her work with Kate Spade and Tory Burch a few years ago and adored them from afar — their vibrancy and whimsy were captivating and, for me, these images reflected pure joy. I did not know who the artist was, yet when I saw Caitlin’s work for Every Mother Counts last year, I immediately recognized the style! I have long admired Caitlin’s work and so I reached out to her to ask if she would collaborate with us for our fall launch. As an avid reader, she happily said yes! For our fall boxes she has created her “ideal reading space” — one in which we can all imagine curling up with a good book and a steaming cup of something sublime. And after speaking with Caitlin, it is clear that it is her joyful outlook on life that imbues her art, creating a style so uniquely and beautifully her own.
EL: Your watercolors are so whimsical and dynamic and have such a strong and unique sense of style — I remember seeing your collaborations over the years and then when you collaborated with Every Mother Counts, an organization I know is dear to both our hearts, and I saw that wonderful artwork that you created for them, I thought, that’s the artist that I love! I just knew you had done the earlier work that I had admired so much also!
Where did you find your stylistic voice in painting? And who has been your greatest influence in finding this artistic voice?
CM: Thank you! I started a blog in 2009 with the intention of painting every day, and that is how I found my style. Watercolor is like any skill or sport. The more you do it, the more natural it becomes, and the more confidence you have. When I started, my watercolors were very tight and I agonized over detail. My style is much looser now from practice.
EL: What would you tell young artists starting out and what is the best piece of advice you have received?
CM: You have to put yourself out there, whether it is through Instagram or another avenue. You never know how people will find you and hire you, but they won’t if you do not put your work out into the world, even if you do not feel it’s “ready”!
EL: I know you have two young children – a boy and a girl — are they in the studio with you often? I have two young girls and it is always such fun to see their art projects and get glimpses of the world through their eyes. Any fun stories exploring art with your kids?
CM: My kids love to be in the studio with me, and they paint or draw every day. They’re getting so good! My 5 year old daughter is becoming an expert on painting portraits of my husband and sunsets. My 3 year old son is more into putting as many colors on the paper as possible.
EL: How do you relax and unwind?
CM: When I am in New York, I walk. This is the most relaxing for me, when I am totally aimless.
EL: What is your ideal reading space — those essentials that create comfort and coziness for you?
CM: I love a screened in porch in the summer time, a lazy day with no plans but to drink coffee and alternate between reading a great book and the newspaper.
EL: I know when I am asked what my favorite book is, I have beyond several and they are always favorites for different reasons and different seasons of life. Do you have one favorite book or a rotating list? Would love to know which ones!
CM: I love biographies and memoirs and my favorites run the gamut from D.V. by Diana Vreeland to Life by Keith Richards. I want to read Born Standing up, Steve Martin’s memoir next.
EL: What are you working on next? Any upcoming projects or exhibitions you might share? We would love to follow along!
CM: Currently I am sketching new wallpaper and textile designs, and doing custom work for interior designers. I had a fun show over the summer of seascapes and would love to do another soon, with an entirely different subject…I am thinking about giant florals or a whole menagerie of animals.