Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday's Other Creative Soul: Debbie Carroll

This week's Creative Soul is the multi-talented Artist and Jewelry Designer, Debbie Carroll. She loves color as much as I do and will be displaying her paintings at our upcoming show, "Uncommon Grounds", opening next month at Uptown's Artisan Style Gallery.

Debbie Carroll

BS in Fashion Merchandising with an Art Minor from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois, Graphic Design Certification at the Art Institute in Houston, Texas

Current City/Hometown:
I currently live in Austin, but have lived in both Dallas and Houston - twice! I mostly grew up in Washington state and Illinois, before moving to a(sometimes) warmer climate!

Tell us about your work in one sentence.
I feel like my work is pretty much driven by color; I'll see a scene or object that I want to depict and play with the colors to make it my own interpretation - still recognizable but a little different.

Describe your normal day.
A normal day for me is getting everyone off to their respective destinations - school for the boys, work for my husband, then I feel like I can regroup and figure out what needs to happen. Every day is different depending on my mood, and lately on the natural light - it's been so gloomy! I generally try to do a few daily chores, walk the dog, etc...then I can think about what I'm working on, be it painting or making jewelry - my other pursuit. When painting, I like to do a few preliminary sketches (VERY sketchy) before starting to paint. One of the best tips I've learned is to completely underpaint my canvas or paper before starting, there is nothing worse than staring at a big white blank page! I am finding it is best to paint for 2 to 3 weeks, then switch gears and work on my jewelry for a week or two, before going back to painting. An ideal day for me would be a bright sunny day where I could work completely undisturbed from the moment I got up in the morning until late into the night, to really get into & stay in the "zone".

What are your passions?
My family, our dog Cutter, friends, travel, vintage "stuff", decorating, walking, and, of course, painting and many other creative pursuits like jewelry and sewing!

What are your goals?
I would love to be able to earn a good living by painting and help put our kids through college. My husband and I would love to retire to New Mexico or the west someday, where I could paint and he could fish. I would also like to spend some time delving into printmaking and trying my hand at Plein Air oil painting and pastels.

Who are your creative influences?
Georgia O'Keefe, the Taos School of Painters, Gustave Baumann (printmaker), Vincent Van Gogh, Degas, Monet, some contemporary artists - Stephen Kilborn, Leigh Gusterson, and Jerry Jordan to name just a few, the Pre-Raphelites. The list is pretty long actually....I also really love the very graphic poster art of the 1920's and 30's, especially the WPA art done for the National Parks during the depression.

Are there any other relevant experiences that shaped who you are today and what you do?
I have always been into art since I was a very small child. My teachers really championed me along the way and I was lucky to have some very, very good teachers in high school. In college I truly loved art history, and learning about other artists. I was lucky enough to travel to Europe after graduating, enabling me to see some of the very works we had learned about - very inspiring! For a "milestone" birthday a couple of years ago, I treated myself to a painting workshop and that really helped me get back into my art after neglecting it for several years - I find it very necessary to have a creative outlet to keep me sane!

Is there anyone that you really look up to as an inspiration?
I look up to all the artists who have to make sacrifices in order to pursue their dream. I'm lucky because my family is very supportive and encouraging of my art.

What motivates you on a daily basis?
I have a need to feel like I accomplished something every day, whether it be painting, cleaning the house (not that it gets done often enough), making jewelry or working on my Etsy sites. My guilty pleasure is an over-indulgence in caffeine - I LOVE my coffee, and lot's of it :) I also love to get in a walk each morning - it clears my head and helps me focus my nervous energy into a more positive direction.

What's your working style?
Given a preference, I'd love to have big time blocks of time to do my work, but this generally doesn't happen, so I try to fit the task to fit the time I have available - prepping and underpainting canvas/paper when there's little time, major designing or painting when I do have the time. I don't do well with interruptions. I used to get a lot done late in the evening after everyone went to bed, but my eyes just don't function well enough for that any more!

What are your websites/social networking links?
Website/Etsy Sites: for my art for my jewelry

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