Injury turns into a blessing

Sam Odrowski

On a warm summer day in early August of last year, a Fort Frances woman’s life forever changed when she injured her ankle while gardening.
What seemed like a misfortune for Cathie Sinninghe actually was a blessing in disguise.
It was a short time after she was laid up with a broken ankle that she discovered a newfound passion known as “pour painting.”
The technique involves layering cups full of paint, placing them upside down on a canvas, and then spreading the paint around to create an abstract piece of art.
Sinninghe saw a friend post a piece of art that was created using a “pour painting” technique and instantly called him to find out how he created it.
Her friend directed her to YouTube tutorials on how to create the style of art and she’s been obsessed with it ever since.
“I became totally hooked watching the videos and knew I would be hooked once I started painting,” Sinninghe enthused.
Being laid up with the ankle injury for eight months, she studied pour painting, refined her technique, and created a hefty portfolio of work during that time
Sinninghe’s creative process begins with her selecting five to 14 different colours and layering them in a cup with a liquid called floetrol, as well as treadmill oil or liquid silicon.
If the piece is on a large canvas, she will repeat the same process for several cups to ensure she has enough paint.
After letting the cup sit for a few minutes, Sinninghe straps on gloves, grabs the cups, and flips them upside down over top of her canvas.
Once she removes the cups, she lets them sit for a few minutes and then tilts the canvas to let the paint flow around, and create the types of patterns or designs she desires.
The paintings then are left to dry over three days.
What makes Sinninghe’s art special? She says every piece is unique and the type of art she creates rarely can be found in the district.
“There is not much pour painting done around here at all,” she noted.
In addition to her “pour paintings,” Sinninghe also creates homemade jewellery she calls “a one-of-a-kind work of art,” noting this type of jewellery also can’t be found anywhere locally.
Her necklaces and earrings mostly feature abstract patterns, with some having a bald eagle design.
“Every piece is so unique,” she stressed. “You’re never going to go to a party and have someone wearing the same jewellery you have.
“The rings, necklaces, [and] earrings are all one-of-a-kind.”
Sinninghe also creates hair accessories–often in the shape of butterflies.
“With art, I love the different forms of self-expression and I love sharing art with others,” she remarked.
Sinninghe always had an interest for arts and crafts, having painted her whole life. Born in West Virginia, she went to Marshall University there to study art during the 1970s.
After a little hiatus from art, she rediscovered her love for painting when local artist Lindsay Hamilton held “drop-in” sessions on Scott Street.
After pouring her heart into several paintings and pieces of jewellery, Sinninghe built up a display of work that currently is on display at “From the Grind Up” here.
Her work also can be seen at the new women’s drop-in centre here and in the annual spring show now running at the Fine Line Art Gallery.
Sinninghe said she always is willing to do custom pieces and art commissions at an affordable price.
She is also trying to gauge local interest for a daytime or evening “pour” painting workshop and encourages people to reach out to her if interested.
Sinninghe can be reached at 274-0098 or by her U.S cell 218-434-0016 and via e-mail at