CAROLYN COLE INTERVIEW

 
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903: You have a long showing history in both NY and the Pacific Northwest. Can you give us a brief trip through your career?

I graduated from Portland State University with a degree in Painting in 1977. My work was included in four art museum exhibits within the first two years of my career: Two in the Portland Art Museum, one in Seattle Art Museum, and one in Tacoma Art Museum. In 1981 I moved to New York City. I spent ten years there painting and doing sculpture. The work grew and changed along with my surroundings. It was a stimulating area and my work thrived in New York.

I relocated to Portland in 1991 and my paintings quickly changed. Colors became more vibrant and intense. I was seeing the beauty of the Northwest with fresh eyes after all those years away. This series, started in Portland, has consumed my time for 25 years. I have explored it relentlessly, seldom running out of ideas and new palettes to challenge my mind. My career blossomed with these paintings. Art galleries in many areas of the country have shown my work for the past 20 years.

903: Your work pops with color. How does color influence you? How do you choose your palettes? 

Color plays an important role in describing the emotional value and mood of each painting. I begin by mixing a new palette of colors. Usually, I see something in nature or on the street, or perhaps a movie or a book. Whatever stimulates me and gets me excited is valuable and can be used for a palette.

After much paint mixing, I start working on the canvas with those colors. As I go, new colors will be mixed and added. Each must relate to the other colors in some way. Changes come and go. Sometimes the completed painting reflects the beginning inspiration, but it often takes a different direction during its creation. Whichever happens, I work until I love it.

903: What's next for you in the studio? 

I’m nearly finished painting a commissioned work with a blue palette. Once that is done, I am excited to start a new red 4’x4’ painting. I have all the colors in my mind, just need to mix the palette to get going!