Artist Spotlight: Carol Carter

Check out this AMAZING watercolor artist - Carol Carter.  I love her work.  She is one of my greatest inspirations.  The colors she uses are so vibrant and her paintings look almost dream-like.  I've been admiring her work for some time and was thrilled when she offered to answer some questions for my blog.  You'll find a few examples of her work below but you can explore more of her portfolio through her online resources:


Tell us a little about your artistic background - have you always been a watercolor artist and what type of training did you have?

I painted in watercolor since my freshman year in college.  I have a BA from Principia College and an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis.  My mother was an artist- so she made art supplies available to me as a child.  I always seemed to be painting from my early years!

What techniques do you use most in your work?  

I use a lot of wet-into-wet, and paint flat on the floor.  I don't use a lot of tight control of paint.  I use wet, loose washes which allows the paint to puddle and blossom.  These blossoms allow the paint to be natural and organic.

I've noticed that you always paint the background first.  Why do you choose that method of painting?  

I feel that if you make the "environment" or background work ... the subject of the painting has a place to exist in.  Adding the background allows the subject to advance in the picture plane.  The background recedes.

Are their any other secrets you use to achieve the signature look you have in your work? 

Lots of clean and fresh water.  Always put out fresh paint.  Always have good materials--- paint, paper. brushes.   Paint flat.   I also incorporate humidity and rainy wet days as the opportune time to paint.  The extra humidity in the air helps the washes dry more slowly.  The slower drying times gives you a longer time to manipulate them with more intense color.

Why did you choose watercolor as your primary medium?

I received my first training as an artist in watercolor.  I wasn't introduced to acrylic until graduate school.  Watercolor was so much fun for me to do-- I naturally kept working with it.

How do you decide your subject matter?  

I think a lot about what I want to paint.  I try to have psychological elements in my work.  I choose themes from my life to work with.  I like to paint about the human condition.

What type of advice do you have for artists that are just starting to sell their work?  

Show your work in places that will be seen in everyday situations-- banks, coffee shops, restaurants, diners, cafes.  Don't be too provincial about where to exhibit.  Get you work in front of a wide variety audience.  Be willing to have your own openings...and be sure to connect with people.  To develop relationships with your clients is your best marketing tool.

Do you have any advice on selling art online, in galleries, etc?

Get a website, write a blog or two, and be sure to connect through Facebook.  You must get your work out on line visibly every day.  Posts on your blog and look at other people's blogs.  Join art blogs and art venues on line.  Learn how to update your website and change it often.

Join galleries in cities that seem sympathetic to your work.  Be careful with contracts and make sure you have everything in writing.  Ask for a show every two years.

What inspires you most?

Life, love, and beauty.  I love painting about what I have experience in life as a person, mother, artist.

Any final thoughts or advice?

If you think you want to be an artist-- you should definitely try!  The world needs more art and artists.  It's possible to have a great career -- if you believe in yourself.

Carol Carter's work is simply amazing!  I hope you all love her work as much as I do.  Thank you, Carol for taking the time to answer my questions.  I hope to visit your studio one day!  You are my inspiration!

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