My primary interest as an illustrator lies in the interpretation of speculative or evocative fiction. My work focuses on the figurative; in particular, I love to depict the ways in which situations, thoughts, dialogue and emotions pulse through the characters who people these stories and how they affect gesture and expression. As I have always loved faces, the element of portraiture is particularly attractive to me. Portraiture and gesture are the primary vehicles I use to explore both the universal element of a character’s ensnarement in the Human Condition, as well as the penetration of the soul of this particular character caught in this particular situation. This applies to both the “dramatic” and the humorous equally. Additionally, I endeavor to amplify the foregoing with whatever uses of atmosphere, landscape, interiors or props which will best serve this end.
As a landscape painter, the places and scenes I paint are the ones that have acquired the warmth of familiarity, even relationship. The land’s contours are changeless, inviting tireless contemplation; even so, the changeability of the northern New England landscape, through the hours of the day and the months of the year, assures a varied wardrobe of color and light with which to clothe its features. These are the vicissitudes of a friendship, and life.
The White Mountain Series paintings featured on this site are part of a current and on-going project.
A Note About Gormenghast
The character study paintings in this yet-to-be completed series are inspired by the Gormenghast novels written in the mid-twentieth century by Mervyn Peake. This quirky and eccentric work is peopled with a circus load of characters who have one thing in common: they all exhibit an excess of idiosyncrasy, with each individual forming an atmospheric particle about which Peake, in muscular prose, condenses layers of hilarious observation or tragic back story as the case may be. Most of the action takes place within the dark and musty confines of a massive castle complex which apparently spans miles. Mervyn Peake was himself a painter, and his visual descriptions of both character and atomosphere are vivid, providing a veritable candy store for the narrative illustrator.
Drawing has always come as naturally to me as breathing; indeed, in my childhood I would cover surfaces appropriate and inappropriate (I have teachers’ notes to prove it) with drawings of animals, human figures and faces. Also beginning in childhood was a growing fascination with the illustrations that accompanied the usual youthful literary fare. In time, my primary artistic focus became centered on the interpretation of imaginative fiction, which eventually led to the publication of work in two JRR Tolkien tribute books, several derivative works, and the 1998 Tolkien Calendar published by HarperCollins. Primary inspirations include the illustrators and painters of the Golden Age, notably NC Wyeth, Norman Rockwell, John William Waterhouse, and Arthur Rackham; and John Singer Sargent and the Boston School. Some contemporary artists eliciting my admiration include Alan Lee, Jacob Collins, and James Gurney.
In more recent years, decades of life in the White Mountains of New Hampshire as well as a growing focus on depicting more elemental facets of the human experience, have led me to pursue projects in landscape painting and portraiture.
Carol has a BFA from the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester. She lives within view of Mt.Chocorua and within earshot of the loons on the Lake.
Home | Artist Statement/Bio | Contact