Catherine Young Bates was born in Windsor, Ontario. She completed multiple degrees including a Bachelors in Art & Archaeology from Victoria College, University of Toronto, Canada in 1956, Bachelors in Education from Ontario College of Education, University of Toronto, Canada in 1957. Between 1960-63, she studied at Baltimore Museum of Art, MD, USA (painting), Maryland Institute of Art, Baltimore, Md. USA (graphics), Doon School of Fine Arts, Doon, ON (painting) and Beal Technical School, London, ON (painting). She further went on to doing her Master of Education (Art) in McGill University, Canada in 1986.
Young’s works are characterised by movement, energy and exuberance. She uses tube oils and pigment sticks on canvas and wood, and acrylic and mixed media on paper. She has a unique style of drawing with paint using vibrant colour. Subjects are predominantly landscapes, inspired by visits to specific locations, and still lifes are also painted. Some works edge into environmental concerns, such as in the Icarus Series. Drawing into the paint is characteristic of all of her work.
Young paints what’s missing in landscape paintings: the wind and the weather. As the wind blows and the sky darkens or brightens, there is an exhilarating feeling of recognition. Because we not only see but feel the familiar, to look at her landscapes is to stand right in them. Her aim with still lifes is similar, to convince the viewer of the vitality of the images.
Young is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy and PEN (Poets, Essayists, Novelists). She was an art critic for The Montreal Star and several other magazines. She was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from Victoria University, Toronto in 2006. She was a guest speaker and taught in the Fine Arts Department of Dawson College, Montreal for many years.
Young exhibits in the United States, Canada, England and Japan, and has work as part of many public and private collections. She lives and works in Montreal.