Catherine Tonning-Popowich

I was born in Grandville, Michigan and have lived in numerous parts of the country. I currently make my home in Owosso, Michigan with my husband, Michael.

As the daughter of artistic parents, I was introduced to creating art at an early age. My father, Bernard J. Tonning, was Chief Designer for American Seating Company based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and designed furniture for churches throughout the country. I was only 8 years old when he died unexpectedly. As a professional artist, he instilled a love of art, which has remained with me throughout my life. I have never forgotten him or the fact that he melded his love of art with his need to work.

My mother, Johan, was a talented seamstress and raised 15 children. I paint using my maiden name as a tribute to my parents.

In the back of my mind, I always wanted to go to art school. It was not until I had a family of my own that I decided to follow my dream but my artwork remained a hobby until my two children were older. At that point I attended Lansing Community College in Michigan and found myself sharing classes with 19-year-olds. I explored various mediums such as watercolors, oils, pastels, airbrushing, printmaking and pottery. I graduated with a double major in Commercial Illustration and Fine Arts.

My schooling and commercial art background blends well with my porcelain pieces, allowing me to capture the fine details that make many of my pieces seem like photographs rather than paintings.

The artistic talents of my family have been passed down from generation to generation. Both of my children, Andrew & Katie were given the opportunity to china paint at a very young age. Whenever I was working on a project, I would give them a tile or plate to paint. (I still have these pieces on display in my studio.)

Katie will easily surpass my talent because she was given the opportunity to gain first hand knowledge of art and painting as a child, which led to her Fine Arts degree.

My son, Andrew, also shares this talent with his creative writings; several of them have been published along with his graphic illustrations.


Artist Statement

I am an artist and my medium is now Acrylics. In the past my medium was China Painting (Overglaze paints on Porcelain) I used to be a traveling art teacher but after the birth of my grandson 6 years ago I made the decision to stay close to home to care for him as he was born with severe disabilities. I now make my home in Owosso, Michigan where I have set up teaching Acrylic painting in my home art studio. I also enjoy photography,watercolor and jewelry making. Please view some samples of my work at here:

Seminars & Classes
Biography & Resume
My Blog