Cathy Johnson, sometimes known as Kate, has worked as a naturalist, writer, and freelance artist for the past 30 years, and was staff naturalist and contributing editor for Country Living magazine for 11 years. She is a contributing editor to the Artist’s Magazine and Watercolor Magic and has had a regular column in Personal Journaling magazine, where she wrote on a subject she feels passionately about — realizing the importance of creativity in our lives. She has written and illustrated — her own work and that of others — for a number of national magazines, including Science Digest, Harrowsmith Country Life, Sports Afield, Country Journal, Muzzlelader, Women’s History, Early American Life, Sketchbook, Woodworker, Woman’s Day, Threads, Mother Earth News, National Wildlife Magazine, Sierra and additional magazines listed on the writer page. Her writing and artwork has been included in a number of nature anthologies and art books.
She has written and illustrated 34 books of her own, and contributed to a number of others, working with a variety of national publishing houses. Those include North Light/F&W, Time/Life, Random House, Scholastic, Globe Pequot Press, Gibbs-Smith Publisher, Tehabi, Van Nostrand Reinhold, Walker Publications, Prentice-Hall Press, Penguin, Sierra Club, Stackpole and others. See book and magazine list. In 1993, she founded her own small publishing company, Graphics/Fine Arts Press, which primarily offers books of interest to the reenacting community or others interested in history and material culture. She published The Journal of the Middle Waters Frontier for five years; it focused on primary documentation about the lives of our forebears.
Her paintings are included in a number of private and corporate collections, including Hallmark Cards, Inc., Kansas City, MO; F&W Publications/North Light Books, Cincinnati, OH; Early American Life Magazine, Harrisburg, PA; The Kansas City Life Insurance Co., Kansas City, MO; and Newcomers Funeral Home, Kansas City, MO.
She is a longtime member of the Author’s Guild and the Costume Society of America. Chosen Conservation Communicator of the Year by the Burroughs Audubon Society in l987, and won the Thorpe Menn Award for Creative Writing (AAUW) for The Naturalist’s Cabin; Constructing the Dream (Viking Penguin) in 1992. A resident of Missouri all her life, she was born in Independence and has lived in the Excelsior Springs area since 1969.
Interests (more rightly considered obsessions) include travel, reading, Celtic myth and history, reenacting, pottery, jewelry design, and drawing and painting for the sheer enjoyment of it — sort of a busman’s holiday…
And among those things that are most important in her life are nature and solitude, creativity, music, cats, family and friends, honesty, humor, and love. What else does one need?