Thursday, 3 November 2011

Guest Wildlife Artist, Carole Barkett, from Canada

This month's Guest Artist is Canadian wildlife painter and fellow Zazzler, Carole Barkett, of Country Mouse Studio.

Carole introduces herself: 
I live in Vernon, British Columbia.  It's the Northern part of the Okanagan Valley.  It would be a beautiful place to draw landscapes as it is so beautiful and varied.

I don't have a good profile photo.  I'm the only person who takes photos in my family so they are all of other people. That's why I use the avatar.  

As usual with e-interviews, I asked Carole when she began to be interested in Art:
My mother inspired my love of art.  She grew up in a very poor family and got into trouble for drawing as they told her she was wasting paper.  So she always made sure I had plenty of art supplies.   Then, in her retirement, she took up oil painting and introduced me to it.  She also sparked my interest in birds and nature.

Have you done formal Art Training?  The only training I had was a home study course from North Light Art.  When I learned to see and draw negative spaces it took the pressure from drawing the actual thing and for the first time I was able to see some success.

The other valuable lessons I learned were from the book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain".   Once I realized I was my own worst enemy I was so excited.  I wanted everyone to try it.

I'd like to jump in here and add, that I, too, am very enthusiastic about that book, though it's one that I lent to someone and never got back - usually the sign of a very useful book! It is still available on amazon so here's the link! 'The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain' by Betty Edwards - plenty of reviews to give you a good idea of what it's about!

Carole, what is the most important thing you've learnt from experience, or other people?
I've gained the most knowledge by having my art for sale.  It's a very humbling experience.  The art I love and think turned out the best often no one else likes or even notices and often the art I'm reluctant to put for sale, sells.  I am still learning what is best for me.

Who is your favourite artist and why?  I don't have a specific favorite artist or even a favorite type of art.  If it touches my heart or appeals to my eye it doesn't matter what type of art it is

Do you paint regularly? Roughly how much time do you spend painting?  Not regularly enough.  It's an emotional thing for me.  If I paint when I am inspired and enthusiastic I can just paint all day or all week finishing 3 or 4; but if I'm not inspired, I'm just wasting my time.  I've tried to put myself on a routine but the things I paint end up in the garbage.

What is your favourite medium?  I love oil because it is similar to sculpture which is my favorite but I'm too sensitive to the chemicals so I use watercolors.

I think watercolour suits your wonderful little critters, Carole - and your larger ones as well!

What subject matter draws you to paint it?  Birds, Animals and Nature and a sense of humor if possible.  It would also include landscape but I always ruin them with details.

Do you paint from photos, sketches, memory, en plein air?  I paint from memory, good reference photos and plein air when possible.

Where do you sell your work?  I started at local markets, art shows and Artist Co-operatives. Now I sell my work on ZazzleGreeting Card Universe. and Fine Art America.

How do you feel about parting with your originals when someone buys them?  It's very difficult, they're like my children.  Then I want to see them again to see how much has changed in my style.

Do you or have you ever painted to commission?  Yes, I painted pet portraits and that's when I discovered I need to be inspired to paint. I can understand that - I'm just the same!

Do you have any particular future plans or projects in mind? Or where do you foresee your artistic journey taking you?  I have no idea.  For years I just wanted the desire to go away because it kept popping up when I was too busy with family to deal with it so this is the first time I've been able to focus on it.

Thank you, Carole, for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences with us! I know how busy life can be for us freelance artists!

And I hope you will all have enjoyed seeing Carole's wonderfully humorous little characters. You can see more of them in her Zazzle store and on Greeting Card Universe

Or keep up to date with Carole's new designs by following her little country mouse on Twitter!


ryckycreations said...

Enjoyed your interview, Carole ... nice to get to know you a little better. I just love your little "critters."


Jean said...

I love Carole's artwork! It is great to learn more about her.

Carole Barkett said...

Thank you Judy for your interview and ryckycreations and Jean for your kind comments.

John said...
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