I enjoy working on figurative pieces and love the vibrancy I can get with oil paint. The bright colors of the early impressionist painters like Monet, Renoir, and Van Gough have always captivated me. Figurative work intrigues me and reveals a great capacity for storytelling. Maybe a simple story of a mother and child: an age old story of warmth and tenderness. The exciting story of the drama of a Flamenco dancer, capturing the action and graceful beauty of the female form, is what inspires me.
When starting a project I like to research my subject. With my flamenco dancer series I researched the history of the countries and customs of where these dances began, I watched videos of dancers in action, and viewed many pictures of dancers in various poses and outfits. I will make a series of sketches and work out my designs from my research. My actual work will be a composite of multiple photos and costumes put together. I will transfer this design to my canvas using a light color to make an outline, and this is where the fun begins for me bringing this ideal, to vision life on canvas.
I grew up in Chicago where some of my earliest memories where of my mother taking me to visit the Art Institute. I loved the Impressionist painters such as Monet and Van Gogh. As a teenager I moved to Oregon to live with my older sister, where I enrolled in college and majored in art and early childhood education.
I fell in love with the beautiful Northwest countryside and its mountains, rivers, lakes. The beauty of nature all around me replaced the cold silhouette of the Chicago sky line. After raising most of my children and remarrying I finally had some time to paint and travel with my husband who is also a painter .These trips have included, driving across the country stopping at many beautiful sights from the Rockies to the East Coast. Mexico and Costa Rica being two of our most recent destinations for painting.
I recently went back to school to take up where I left off, having a desire to make my art a more serious endeavor and to complete the degree I stared. I have also seen the advantage of networking and marketing that school has made available, and how valuable classes like figure painting and drawing have been to fine tune my skills. I have used many of the figure sketches from my class paintings and charcoal renderings for my personal compositions. These have allowed me to create finished paintings of my series of fairies and flamenco dancers.
Gwen Carroll joined Pixels on September 4th, 2012.