Why I Paint
My passion is to create intimate paintings transporting you to another time and place …to convey visual beauty and intrigue. With my use of color, design, multiple layers and texture, I want to stir your senses and invite you to stop for a moment and allow your head and heart to go beyond the boundaries of the frame. Art reflects life, hence I love to juxtapose contrasts in my work – smooth versus texture, organic versus geometric, cool versus warm colors, etc. – to show that they can co-exist; in fact they can inspire each other.
Oils are my preferred medium (I also work in pastels). I work with a palette knife and a brush; going back and forth during the entire painting process. Oil paints facilitate my exploration of color. Much like a musician, I choose a particular color chord for each painting to bring harmony and unity throughout; this adds another interesting dimension as I play with contrasts.
At 36, I unlocked the artistic vault that I had kept sealed for over 15 years. I traded my blue suits of corporate life in for an artist’s smock shortly after my late mother-in-law introduced me to watercolors in 1987. The Twin Cities (MN) offered fine art education through their network of art centers. I also attended The Minneapolis College of Art & Design, and workshops instructed by nationally known artists. The regional watercolor society captured my heart hence I served as President of the Minnesota Watercolor Society (1992-94). In 2004, I founded & curated the “Celebrate 22 Miles!” exhibition held at The Edina Art Center; this show celebrated the significance of the Minnehaha Creek that runs through the Twin Cities.
In 1994, I added the medium of pencil, followed thereafter by pastels and then oils working with a palette knife. If I am not collaborating with a client on a commission, you can find me in my Black Forest or Deckers, Colorado studios.
My large body of work entitled “No Time for Idle Hands” 19th-century Women of the Northern Plains & Prairies,” traveled to five exhibition venues (2001-03). This work inspired me to write my book “Painting My Passion: An Artist’s Journey with the Women of the West.” I am a signature member of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America.
The questions I asked Carol –
- How long? I have been painting for 22 years.
- Greatest achievement? A.The greatest feeling is when I present a commissioned Memory Portrait and the client gets wet eyes. I love painting pet portraits because I have to opportunity to capture a treasured memory and a treasured personality. B. A real highlight in my art career was completing a large body of artwork of 25 painting that commemorates the women of the 1800’s. I used the image of the hand to tell their story and I entitled the series, “No Time for Idle Hands: 19thCenture Women of America’s Northern Plains & Prairies.” This series was a travelling exhibition and inspired me to write a memoir “An Artist’s Journey with the Women of the West.”
- Award? I have won several including First Place at the Minnesota State Fair, the Minnesota Watercolor Society. One of paintings was on the cover of a national art magazine Watercolor! with a featured article.
- Funny story? One day when I came home from kindergarten, my mother reported that I was very upset because the teacher did not like the colors I chose. Apparently we were asked what our favorite colors were and I responded, “Red and orange.” Even then I knew they were analogous colors because they are next to each other on the color wheel! Obviously the teacher did not know her colors. That story always makes me smile, because I love painting with colors that are near each other on the color wheel because that conveys harmony.
Something new? I tell people that I paint pet portraits with my left brain and abstracts with my right brain. Does that make me balanced? Who knows?
Be sure to visit Carol’s website for more images of her work. www.PaintingHarmony.com