Where I am
Gallery: Topanga Canyon Gallery in Topanga, California.
Studio: Monte Nido, California
Tell us a little about you, what is your background & where do you come from?
I was born in Michigan and fortunate to have gone to high school with a strong art curriculum. I was able to study painting, drawing and sculpture there.
I started to study art in college but the teaching at that time was very conceptual. I wanted to learn the nuts and bolts. I began to study photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology where I earned a degree.
I’ve been able to view first hand works by Rembrandt, Rubens, Monet and many other old master paintings during my tenure at the J. Paul Getty Museum. There I managed the creation of the high-resolution digital archive of the museum’s art collection.
Happily I am now able to paint full time.
When did you first start painting?
When I was very young. The first drawing I can remember creating is a running horse against a blue sky. I think I did it in first grade as a homework assignment.
You paint from your photographs; did your love of film or paint come first?
Painting came first.
Tell us a little about your unique technique.
First I take quite a few photographs for reference. I also like to spend time with the animals I paint. Then using multiple layers of paint, pastel and charcoal I try to create a painting like a Robert Frost poem. I am also a Natural Symbolist like him.
You paint more than just horses, what is your favorite subject?
Painting horses. Their anatomy is exquisite.
They are such colorful animals and I’m able to express their spirit using a variety of color palettes.
Do you (or did you) have an animal that is the muse behind your work?
While I was driving through Montana I saw a foal following her Mom in a field of green grass. I photographed them as they were walking towards their stable.
Do you have any secret rituals you do to help you get in the zone for your art?
I usually get everything ready in my studio the night before. This way I can let my idea percolate while I’m asleep. The next morning I’m all ready to go.
Is there a particular place that brings you inspiration?
The Pacific Ocean
What effect do you think the Internet will have on art in general?
It’s a mixed bag. It’s difficult to buy a painting over the Internet without seeing it in person. We are trying to remedy that by adding Zoomify to some of the paintings, allowing the user to see individual brush strokes.
The great thing about the Internet is the ability to go to museums and galleries without leaving your home. Many more people see art than before, which is good thing since many high schools now have little or no art curriculum.
Has it had an effect on yours?
The Internet has enabled me to show my work to a much wider audience.
Which one is your personal favorite piece?
They are all my babies. However the reason I paint them is to bring enjoyment to other people. People have come up to me after they have bought a piece and tell me how much enjoyment they have received from having it. That’s really why I paint.
What else are you passionate about?
Saving animals and the environment. I also love music and perform with the Dharma Pranksters.
Working on anything new?
I’m working on a painting of a Choctaw foal, which I photographed, at the Return To Freedom Horse Sanctuary last May.
More to Come
Thanks to Carol for answering the interview and sharing her work. Be sure to check out her art website periodically for updates about her latest works.
Also stay tuned for more interviews with horse artists and photographers.
Are you a horse artist or do you know an equine artist you’d like to see featured? Add your name and website in the comments below or drop me a note to get involved.