fanciful beauty: caitlin mcgauley’s watercolor paintings

If you’re a fan of fashion and/or interior design you may have seen some of Caitlin McGauley’s work in the pages of Vogue, Better Homes and Gardens, or Elle Decor.

The bright, bold colors and whimsical details in her watercolors are hard to miss.  Whether she’s painting a pretty interior, a spray of flowers, a lovely table setting, or a pastry shop, there’s a distinctive charm and élan that I find irresistible.

It’s fun to see the interesting characters, city scenes, and everyday objects that bear her cheery, chic and uplifting style. I am reminded of Emma Block and Maira Kalman with a touch of Raoul Dufy.  A breath of fresh air!

Caitlin studied at the Syracuse University College of Visual and Performing Arts, first majoring in illustration before switching to advertising. She experimented with a variety of mediums before discovering her love of watercolor via a “paint every day” project on her blog.

After college, she started working for Ralph Lauren Home as a textile designer, then went on to pursue freelance projects.

As the story goes, years ago Caitlin happened to comment on the Lonny magazine blog, which prompted the editor to visit Caitlin’s illustration blog. The editor liked Caitlin’s watercolors, so she asked her to do a weekly series for Lonny called Watercolor Wednesday. This led to a commission with Kate Spade, New York, and Caitlin hasn’t looked back since.

Today, Caitlin’s clients also include Hermès of Paris, Christian Dior, Estée Lauder, the Ritz Paris, Tory Burch, and Domino magazine.

In 2015, she launched a wallpaper line available through Studio Four NYC and the JAMES showroom in Austin, Texas.

I love that the person she admires most is Maira Kalman, and that she also likes Babar and Leo Lionni. Maybe there’ll be a children’s book in her future. Hope so!

Caitlin lives and works in New York City, and sells originals and prints of her work at her official website. You can also find some of her pieces at the Tiger Flower Studio and The Market.


Enjoy this short video:


♥ Keep up with Caitlin’s latest news and projects at her Instagram.


Copyright © 2017 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.









20 thoughts on “fanciful beauty: caitlin mcgauley’s watercolor paintings

  1. I love each one, and the variety of Caitlin’s images is awesome, Jama. I especially like the ones with books. It is fun to see them stacked in a fireplace! Thanks for the introduction!


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