grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, so the fact that Carol
grew up loving wildlife so much is a mystery to some. "From
an early age I loved animals, and that has stayed with me
and given me direction in my career as an artist."
Carol drew as a child, she had little to no formal training
in art until she went to college. There, a whole new world
opened for her when she found out that she could possibly
earn a living from something she loved. Majoring in illustration
gave her a solid background in drawing, painting, composition,
and rendering, which are the perfect tools for creating her
worked for several years as a freelance illustrator, but her
joy has always been in the painting, and when illustration
started moving towards the computer, she made the decision
to start over again in the fine art world. The transition
has been a success, and Carol's paintings and reproductions
are in private collections throughout the world.
any subject, I was always taught to learn about it and know
it backwards and forwards before I paint. I find this especially
true with wildlife painting. In order to create a believable
image, I need to know how my subject looks from all angles,
how it moves, what it would look like in different seasons
of the year, what would be a natural habitat (or what more
unusual place might one find this subject), and what behaviors
are special to the subject. This means that a great part of
my work starts with research."
spends a great amount of time photographing her subjects (according to some family members, an annoying amount of time!). "Although I will never
be considered a great photographer by any means, I generally
get good enough shots to work with most of the time. The photographs
I take are not the end result you see in my paintings, they
are simply reference, or starting off points for my work,
so the pictures dont have to be perfect, but "in focus" is
always nice, and sometimes I surprise myself by getting some
a painter, I can create the situation that I want, and that's
the joy. As to where I go for my imagery, well, anywhere I
travel I make sure I take plenty of scenery shots in addition to the animals because
I just never know when they will come in handy. References
of rocks, grasses, wildflowers, butterflies, trees, streams
... all of these are every bit as important as that the wolf
that may end up as the focus of the painting.
the animals, sometimes nature gives me exactly what I need
(For instance, if I want to paint bison or elk, I have my
trips to Yellowstone Park on which I can rely. If I want to
paint shorebirds, I go to the wetlands near my home.), but
if I know I want to work with a certain animal and I know
a sanctuary or some other facility that has that animal, I
will go to that source. This is especially helpful when working
with large animals that you shouldn't approach in the wild.
In a more controlled environment, I can get great reference
on bears, big cats, wolves, even foxes, which can be quite
elusive in the wild."
works in the same way the Old Masters worked. After doing
research and field work, she composes her image and begins
to paint. Working on masonite or Claybord, she starts with
monochromatic, sepia glazes and works until the image pops
from the board and has full dimension. Then she starts in
with delicate glazes of color, working more and more opaque
until the image is complete. This is basically the "lean to
fat" method of oil painting, but she has made some adjustments
in working with acrylics. "Acrylics don't blend and they dry
quickly. I can't change this, so I work with it, not against
it. I use the glazes to acheive volume, and lots of gel medium
so that my acrylics have the appearance of an oil painting.
The result is that I get huge amounts of depth and volume,
and my paintings have a very life like quality."
work, Carol aims to capture the character and spirit of her
animal subjects. She is well known for the expression she
portrays in her subjects faces, especially in their eyes.
"I know that when someone feels that they know what my animals
are thinking about, I have been successful. I believe this
is why people enjoy having my work in their homes. Every time
you see the piece of art, you can feel the emotion, and that
keeps the work fresh and enjoyable for all time."