Can you introduce yourself to our readers? Where are you from, where are you based now? Do you work from home or have a studio?
I am a full time artist, author and instructor who lives on a mossy mountain just outside Seattle, WA. My art is licensed with several companies for home decor and stationery, including Dianoche Designs, Hallmark, Woodmansterne and teNeues Publishing. I teach workshops throughout the country and offer an online yoga inspired e-course as well.
Have you always been creative? Are you from a creative family?
Yes! Both my parents are creative, and we did many creative projects on a daily basis in our house. My father took an artistic approach to landscaping, gardening and interior design, while my mother did everything with an artistic flair. Watching them both live artistically really inspired me. It was a lifestyle and way to approach everything in life. They both also have some of the strongest work ethics I have ever seen and applied that to everything they did as well.
When did you first start creating? When did you recognize that you would pursue design?
In 2009, I developed a life threatening allergy to heat. Unable to spend time outdoors in my garden, I began painting flowers instead of planting them. I was bedridden for several months, unable to climb stairs or sweep floors due to reacting to my own body heat. One day a voice popped in my head and said, “Now that your life is over you might as well do what you want and paint.” I didn’t even know I wanted to paint, but I began the next day. Creating became a therapeutic practice to cope with my new physical limitations.
Do you have a formal training or are you self taught? Have you taken classes online?
I am self taught for the most part and do not have an art degree. I have taken several online and in person workshops over the years from artists I admire, such as Flora Bowley, Mati McDonough and Kelly Rae Roberts.
How and where do you find inspiration for your work? Does inspiration come easily to you? Who inspires you?
I find inspiration in the flora and fauna of the natural world, but most of all people inspire me and the meaningful, transformative connections I make with others. I express that energy and love through my paintings allowing their special spirit to transfer from my hand to canvas as it pulses from me to the paintbrush. I love stories, and each of us hold a universe within us. Uncovering that in others is what motivates me to paint beauty and color.
Would you say that you’re a disciplined artist? Do you set aside time for creating and time for business for example?
Yes, I work every day and rarely take a day off mostly because I have to weave my art time into my family’s busy schedule, which can be challenging. I do not have set hours, do not have childcare nor family that lives nearby. This can be frustrating, but I just do the best I can. My mantra is to take at least one step every day in the direction of my dreams. Committing to this practice has helped me grow my art business. I recently read that your success can be found in your daily routine. I try to commit every day to my art in some form.
Do you have a certain style or is it constantly evolving? What medium do you most like to work with, do you work digitally?
My style has been called expressive florals. I hope it is constantly evolving and shifting as my life is and should be. I don’t want to live or paint in a stagnant way! I always think about how excited I am to see what my paintings will look like in 5-10 years. This motivates me to keep going even when I am frustrated or feel like giving up. I paint with acrylics.
You license some of your work with DiaNoche Designs, how do you like working with them? Did you approach the company yourself or did they find you?
DiaNocheDesigns is a dream company to partner with as an artist. They are family owned and sincerely care that their products are high quality and bring joy to the people who purchase them. It is such a thrill to see my art made into beautiful home decor items. My agent worked on the licensing deal with them.
Carries artwork with DiaNoche Designs
Do you have a project that you’re particularly proud of? I see that you released a beautiful book last year, Painted Blossoms. I would love for you to share how this came about,where we can find it, what artists can learn from it etc.
Painted Blossoms is the result of following another mantra of mine – go for the long shot. I submitted my book proposal to North Light Books a couple years ago, and it was accepted! The book shares art tips and techniques to create mixed media flower paintings. Topics covered include how to develop your own style, how to get “unstuck” while painting, and how to incorporate design elements into your work found in bouquets and gardens all over the world. There are amazing contributing artists who have inspired me over the years. They share their wisdom as well in fascinating interviews.
Watch the video below where Carrie shares more details from her beautiful book.
Can you share your workflow with us from your inspiration through to the finished piece?
First, I try to live a full and healthy lifestyle so that when I approach the canvas my body, mind and spirit are full of inspiration and creative energy. I find that nature, moving my body and meaningful connections with others are what inspire me the most. I begin painting intuitively with layers and layers of paint, making random marks and designs. Eventually, a composition begins to emerge. For me, I usually see flowers. I keep working on the painting without getting too attached or judging what is happening on the canvas. Eventually, I make decisions that lead to a finished piece, but most of the process is a passive experience of allowing the painting to unfold and listening to what is manifesting on the canvas without trying to control the outcome.
How do you sell your work? Do you have a physical store/outlet or sell online? Do you do commissioned work? Do you have an agent or are you considering working with an agent?
I sell my work online and in art galleries throughout the country. I do commissions as well, including painting wedding bouquets for brides. My agent is Jack Appelman with Art Licensing. I decided to partner with an agent to allow myself more time to focus on painting.
What are your plans for the future? Do you have a vision of where you’ll be next year for example?
I plan to teach more in person and online classes. I am working on developing another art e-course right now. I hope to write some more books in the future, including a picture book.
Please list the tools you can’t live without such as; books, technology, paints etc.
As an artist to feel energetically alive I can not live without what is sacred in my life and without what nurtures my mind, body and spirit so that I can create from a place of vibrant joy, which includes my family (of course!) my studio space, yoga and swimming (physical activity has become an essential component in assisting my creativity), candle scents that relax and stimulate me as I paint, my intuition, some serious FAITH in following this artistic path, iced tea (hello, addiction), chai (why I get up in the morning), hot tea, my soul sisters and tribe, cowgirl hats, inspirational quotes, so many books, and social media. Why social media? Despite all our mixed feelings about our online lives and screen use, as an artist it is an unbelievable way to connect with others and to give and receive inspiration. I cannot imagine trying to make this a career without the empowering benefits of the Internet for promotions, sales and networking. It has been key to my success.
Wow! Such beautiful work from a wonderfully inspiring person. I can safely say that this blog post is the most colorful to date! Please follow Carrie across all her social media and keep up-to-date on what’s going on in her world.
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See you soon..
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