OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABorn Catherine Elizabeth Clarke on February 3rd 1970, I grew up in Saltaire, West Yorkshire. From a very young age I knew that I loved to draw and work with paper, spending hours creating comics, books and paper dolls.

At school I gained grade A in ‘O’ level Art and went on to take A level Art the following year, also achieving an A grade.

I won an ESU scholarship to attend St. John’s – Ravenscourt school in Winnipeg, Canada graduating in the class of ’89.

On returning to England I briefly attended North Staffordshire Polytechnic, in Stoke-on-trent, studying multi-disciplinary design, before realising after one term that the course was not for me and returning to Bradford.

In 1991, I moved to the Calder valley and have lived there ever since. After the birth of my daughter in 1992, I began childminding and studying for an NVQ in childcare and education at a local college.

For the next thirteen years my creative energy went into projects with the children I worked with, both as a nursery nurse and then again as a childminder after the birth of my son in 2000.

In 2005, I decided on a career change and began working on various textile and design projects such as memory quilts and spot illustrations/logo design.

After finding my studio in Linden Mill, I began to experiment again with various different media including acrylic and watercolour paint but soon gravitated back to coloured pencil work, the medium having been a favourite during my childhood.

My portraits are usually worked in coloured pencil on Bristol board, although I also do work in acrylics or watercolours. I accept commissions for portraits, murals and illustrations.

My pictures often have a message behind them., whether it be a story about the subject or a comment about current affairs, designed to make you question and think!