IT’S often, isn’t it that life – even in the beautiful Cotswolds - passes us by.

We get caught up in our minds, often worrying about the bigger picture, the big car, the even bigger house, such is the social circumstance of the modern world we live in.

And, of course, that all has its place but what if, just even for a moment, we took a glimpse at the smaller things?

Step forward Cotswold artist Cath Hodsman.

One of the country’s foremost natural history artists, for over a decade now, Cath has produced paintings and sketches not only for the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew but also for the Queen’s gallery at Buckingham Palace, with her work showcasing in publications such as BBC’s Countryfile magazine, with Cath herself appearing in the BBC Four programme Art, Passion and Power presented by Andrew Graham-Dixon.

But what’s most amazing about Cath is what she paints - wildlife.

From bumble bees and butterflies to hares and botanical drawings, Cath is an artist who looks (literally) through a microscope at the things that we normally don’t see – but the (big) question is: why?

“It’s because the small things really are the biggest things” she explained.

“I paint using micro fine glass and take the trouble to get all the detail in, which means you can really see the beauty of these small but perfectly designed animals, and looking at them reminds you that they are small but not insignificant.”

Listening to Cath talk about her work is like a metaphor for life, the reminder that, even though things may be small, they still matter and, indeed, can often equate to a greater meaning than their larger counterparts.

Art for Cath began ten years ago after an initial career in business and finance, and fed up with her job, one day she had an epiphany-like moment.

“My dad died when he was 56 but was a nut with regards to natural history – he always had bird egg collections and those wonderful Collins pocket ID guides, and he was always interested in natural history programmes.

“I did A-level art, but people said at the time that I wouldn’t make a living out of art, so, instead, I did a business and finance degree because I was too shy to be an art teacher.”

But then, for Cath, as a lot of us find, as she got older, she found she worried less about what people thought about her, and so she decided to not just be an artist, but a wildlife artist - yet not everyone thought it was a great idea.

“People said, why don’t you do portraits of Elvis or Johnny Depp instead?”

But Cath stuck to her artistic guns and quickly became not only a successful wildlife artist, but a leading art tutor, too, teaching at the Royal Horticultural Society, with the Royal Society of Biology appointing Cath as an expert member.

Cath is now semi-retired and lives near Minchinhampton common with her retired husband.

While it offers long grass and good views, Cath supplements this with her own wildlife garden full of indigenous flowers for insects to thrive on.

Cath has an exhibition from November 20 to 24 at the Nature and Art Gallery and Museum at Wallsworth Hall in Sandhurst, Gloucester.

“When you look at an insect through the eye of a microscope, you see what you normally wouldn’t – the fluffy downy duck hair of a honeybee, the wing vein of a butterfly - and that’s when you not only understand, you connect,” she said.

That’s when you realise that perhaps those bigger things in life aren’t so big at all.

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