Melbourne, Australia | 60 Sales



Melbourne, Australia 60 Sales On Etsy since 2008

0 out of 5 stars (33)

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Cathy Kirwan

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Cathy Kirwan


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Extraordinarily Ordinary

"I’m 13 years of age and I’m sitting in art class, studying graphic design. I’m working on the most amazing imagined city. Abstract, colourful, surreal. It’s the city of my dreams. I’m so completely at home and alive in this moment.

Then comes another moment. The one that will define the next 20 years of my life. “The work is average, it shows no real potential.” With just 9 careless words from the teacher my dream is gone.

And so my journey begins …"

I spent the next 20 or so years of my life dancing around the edges of art. I sewed; I took classes in ceramics, scrapbooking, lead-lighting; I played with crayons and pencils; I soaked up colour and imagery; but I never went near a paintbrush or dared to think that I could be an artist.

I delved into a career as a youth worker and spent 16 years working in the not-for-profit sector with marginalised communities. I traveled the world and spent time living and working in the United States at summer camps, ski resorts and environmental education centres. For a number of years I had an incredible job traveling throughout Australia working with young people in Indigenous communities. I met lots of amazing people and learned a lot about life, the good and the bad.

In the year 2000 I met my soulmate on a trip to Colorado, USA. We live with our two beautiful fur children in the inner north of Melbourne, Australia.

Overall I’ve had a pretty great and lucky life - friends, family, a career, hobbies, travel. There have been tough times that knocked the wind out of me, and wonderful moments that lifted me above the clouds.

But for the longest time there was always something missing! An emptiness deep in my soul that never went away. An unnamed desire I couldn’t put my finger on.

It was 2007 when I came across the single remaining copy of mixed-media magazine Cloth Paper Scissors sitting on a bookshop shelf. Opening the pages was like coming home. In that moment I knew I had found the missing piece.

I began painting in late 2007. Initially I worked a lot with mixed-media, collage and even textiles. Over time I’ve refined my practice and developed my style, and now work primarily with acrylics and spray paint. My work is defined by a love of colour, simple mark-making, and layers upon layers of paint that form vibrant works of art.

Realising my dream of becoming an artist has taught me that it’s possible to make all our dreams come true, if we believe and take gentle steps to make them happen. I hope that my artwork will inspire you and encourage you to pursue your own passions and dreams.

"I’m 41 years of age and I’m sitting in my studio, staring out the window. There’s an array of colour, pots and tubes of paint, and works in progress. The birds are singing. The cat is curled up on a chair. I’m so completely at home and alive in this moment.

And so my journey continues …"

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  • Cathy Kirwan


    Cathy Kirwan is the artist behind {tinniegirl}, a nickname given to her by her Mum meaning lucky. Although Cathy always dreamed of being a painter, it wasn’t until her mid 30’s that she first picked up a paintbrush and began to paint.

Shop policies

Last updated on June 8, 2012
Welcome to {tinniegirl}, the online shop of artist Cathy Kirwan. I am a self-taught painter and mixed-media artist, and art is one of my deepest joys in life. My work is inspired by a love of nature, a passion for colour and a true belief that surrounding ourselves with beautiful things is one of the keys to a joyous life.

If you would like to know more about me, including details of upcoming exhibitions, workshops and other special events, please visit my website www.tinniegirl.com.au and sign up for my newsletter.

Please note, all images and artwork are (c)2010 copyright by Cathy Kirwan and remain so at all times.

Accepted payment methods

Returns and exchanges
If for any reason you are dissatisfied with your purchase please contact me within 7 days of receiving it. You may return the item to me in its original condition and I will refund your money minus the postage costs. The cost of returning the package is at your own expense.
I accept Paypal payments. If you don't have a paypal account you can pay using a credit card via paypal. It's a simple and secure way to pay.

Payment is due at the time of purchase. If I have not received final payment within 3 days of your purchase your item will be returned to the shop.
Items ship within 2 business days of purchase and ship from Australia. All items are shipped via regular mail as standard practice.

I highly recommend shipping original artworks with some form of tracking or insurance. If you would like to do this with any items please convo me at checkout and I will send you an updated invoice that covers the costs of additional postage.

I am unable to take responsibility for uninsured parcels that are lost by the mail system. However, if something like this happens please let me know and I will do everything I can to try and solve the problem.
Additional policies and FAQs
I am extremely grateful to everyone who supports me on my creative journey. Thank you so much for your interest in my artwork. Feel free to email me at tinniegirl [!at] optusnet.com.au if you'd like to know more about my work or have other questions.