Acceptance of Transition by Cathy McClelland selected as TAMC Sticker #6

November 5, 2016
    ArtArt SceneArtists

“Acceptance of Transition” painted by North Lake Tahoe artist Cathy McClelland, is the image featured on the Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture collectible sticker #6.

Cathy’s depiction of a Tahoe bear standing in an aspen grove of cascading leaves is playfully symbolic of our shared acceptance of this magical season of change with our bears and wildlife.  The painting speaks to the healing power of Bear, and the peace that comes from acceptance.

Only 1,000 of the collectible stickers are available at shops listed here.

Similar to the previous five TAMC collectible stickers which celebrate our mountain culture, “Acceptance of Transition” gives us a strong sense of place, and creatively interprets our profound connection to nature and this special place we call home.

Lake Tahoe’s beauty is constant inspiration for Cathy. The mountains, water, forest, moon, animals and stars feed her creative spirit. One of her fondest themes inspired by living at Tahoe are the animals, especially the bears. Her intention is to create the magical and innocent qualities of the bear.  Her hope is that her paintings inspire others to respect and act responsible where our Tahoe-Truckee environment is concerned.

Cathy was once told by a shaman that the Bear will stand up to honor the sun and nature.  It inspired her to paint ‘Acceptance of Transition’ to capture fall at Lake Tahoe, featuring one of her favorite subjects and its symbolism.  Bear represents introspection, dream-time of the dream lodge, healing, the feminine, nurturing, and renewal.

“The season of fall at Lake Tahoe is a very beautiful time. When the first snow comes it is usually very light and magical, and as the breezes swirl through the aspen those golden leaves begin to dance with the snowflakes. It is definitely an indication that winter and weather change is around the corner.

This painting brings in the idea of accepting what you cannot control and embracing it. The bear is at peace embracing the change that is to come. I painted the aspens in a heart shape as they remind me of golden hearts. The swirling breeze makes a heart shape at the top of the painting as the leaves and snowflakes cascade around the bear.”  Cathy McClelland

While the original has been sold, limited edition giclee prints are available. Simply contact Cathy at

About Cathy McClelland:

Drawing and painting most of her life, McClelland grew up in the northern California town of Fairfield, which at that time was surrounded by fruit ranches and farms. Her love for animals, nature and the seasons grew from this place.

She studied illustration at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco for 3-1/2 years and in 1979 she moved to the North Shore of Lake Tahoe and has made Tahoe her permanent home. In Tahoe she has freelanced as an illustrator, graphic artist, art director, muralist and fine art painter. Her art interests have gone in many different directions from handmade paper creations, watercolor/dye illustrations, paintings, tapestries and murals. Her primary work now is fine art painting and mural work.

Cathy’s artwork reflects the love she has for nature, cross cultural mythical subjects, magical and sacred places and symbols. She paints from her heart and imagination. Her medium is acrylic, using both airbrush and hand to enhance and detail her painting, giving her artwork a feeling of depth that wants to be explored.

One of her fondest themes inspired by living at Tahoe are the animals, especially the bears. Her intention is to create the magical and innocent qualities of the bear, before his environment was interrupted by development. The spirit and plight of the wild mustangs is another subject that speaks to her heart.

Other themes and inspirations come from her journeys to scared and mystical places. Which result in paintings about stone circles, fairy glenns, dream temples, meditations, animals and nature spirits, angels and messengers. Whatever speaks to her heart and soul comes through her onto the canvas or surface she is painting.

Cathy has recently finished six paintings for the Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center in Truckee.  The theme of the paintings was sun mandala shield, symbols of wholeness of self, beauty and spirit.

Her fascination for the symbolism, nature and the mysteries of life fueled her interest in the tarot. In the fall of 2006, she completed and self published the 22 images of the major arcana called The Star Deck. She is currently working on the second half of the Star deck (the minors).

Cathy has been involved in many art exhibits and festivals, including five successful one women. She has exhibited in Nevada and California and is collected nationally and internationally. Her murals grace walls coast to coast. Most all of her work is available as a greeting cards and some pieces available as limited edition gilcee prints. She has also been published in the We’Moon Datebook and Calendar as well as the 2009 and 2010 Shaman Spirit Walker Calendar. Whether it be a mural or painting, her artwork reflects her love of nature and mythical subjects.

“Nature and the mystery of the universe play a big part with my inspiration. I like to weave the two together in my creations, hoping to inspire others to enjoy the beauty of nature and the wonderful creatures around us. Our world is full of miracles and magic. We just need to recognize the beauty and truth of this, and bring it into our lives and into our hearts. I hope that my artwork can be a contribution to others in that direction.” – Cathy McClelland

You can find more of Cathy’s art and story on her website: