Best of New York 2003 Winner

Catherine Stock is a children's book illustrator whose kids' portraits are more expressionist than formal. The Pratt-trained artist paints soft, impressionistic watercolors that capture kids in a relaxed mode. While she sketches in the child's home, "I let them watch videos, and they forget I'm even there," she says. The result is a portrait that reflects the child you know, without the traditional frozen pose.

—New York Magazine, Best of New York Issue, 5/12/2003
—New York Magazine Family Guide Special Issue, Fall 2003
—New York Magazine Family Guide Special Issue, Fall 2004


"Bring on the Presents! Holidays are the stuff of lasting childhood memories, and each year parents pick through a jungle of plastic games and action figures in hopes of finding presents with staying power. Whether happiness is a parka, a plaything or a warm puppy, here are a few gifts that won't have to be thrown be out with 2002.

Painted for Posterity. Portraiture is back. Parents are again seeking to capture their offspring on canvas. For those daunted by the price and the lengthy sittings involved in oil paintings, Catherine Stock, a painter and children's book illustrator, renders children in watercolors."

—Ellen Tien, The New York Times Sunday Styles, 11/24/ 2002


In January 2004, Jill Scott from the cable news station New York 1, filmed Catherine painting two young children in their loft home in downtown New York. Check out the two and a half minute video on their website:

"These days, capturing precious moments with your child can be done in a flash. Now, picture this: your young child sitting still long enough to have a real portrait painted.

Hard to imagine? Well, one artist’s stroke of genius makes it possible.

“I like to go to people's home because young children are more comfortable in their own homes, and I can just slip in and if they are allowed to watch a video or television they forget I am even there,” says Catherine Stock, a portrait artist who specializes in children.

But aside from Stock’s unique paintings, the big draw for some parents is that she makes house calls.

“I was very glad that she was willing to come into our home, because I knew that my children would be much better behaved at my house versus anywhere else,” says parent Claire Theobald. “I was a little worried about how they would behave, but Catherine has a very calming presence, and I think that helped keep the children calm.”

Because children can be so fussy, often times portraits are made from photographs. But Stock says being able to create something from life allows her to better illustrate the child’s personality.

While having a portrait done at home is easier on the children, it also allows Stock the opportunity to capture the essence of the family.

“I see the sense of color and I take in the home,” says Stock. “A home is an outward expression of the family.”

Before turning her hand to portraits, Stock created more than 80 picture books for children. Just like her books, the paintings are done in watercolor, but by request she can use other media, or take on other subjects like adults or even pets."

Jill Scott , New York 1


I enjoy spending more time at my home in a small village in France. Combine your portrait commission with a holiday in southwest France. If you would like to schedule a sitting , you may stay in my winter cottage, Le Tramizal, as a non-paying guest.



Catherine Stock is the award-winning author and illustrator of over eighty picture books for children, many of which she also wrote. For the last five years, she has turned her hand to painting children's portraits.

She draws from life to get a soft impressionist effect using pencil and watercolor washes. The usual size of the art is 14"x17". She prefers to draw children in their own homes.

A drawing session generally lasts between two and three hours. The fee is $1800 plus tax. One third, or $600, is requested on scheduling appointment, with the balance paid on completion and approval of the portrait. Any non-local travel, framing and shipping charges are in addition.

Catherine will also consider paintings in other media, such as oil, and of other subjects, like adults, pets or homes.

Please contact Catherine by emailing her at



The double portrait is in oil and was painted twenty-five years ago. The little boy at right is the son of the little girl on the left.