Saturday, January 9, 2010

a new and diverse use of trowels ...brick mason tools...creating textural landscapes and more...

We went out in the single digits to see, hear and support an artist friend as she offered herself up to those willing to come and spend a couple of hours on a very frigid Saturday morning at The Works. Carol Salome shared serious stories and experiences in her last twenty years as an artist and muralist. She came from a family of four brothers who were all artists (but chose sports as their passion). Carol has been painting all her life but synchronicity knocked on her door when she created site specific works for a new home of a friend's large kitchen and was introduced to a dedicated decorator who recognized the power in Carol's authentic approach to her painting skills. Carol began with a commission where she would recreate Monet's Gardens on four walls of a new dining room...then the client requested her portrait in the landscape....then she requested her son's costumed appearance into the scene and finally she needed Snoopy, her annoying French poodle, to be inserted into the family garden. Carol describes mural commissions as "combat painting" where she learned to be extremely flexible working with and around others' schedules while enhancing her preparation skills and scaffolding and specialized paints. Carol is extremely humble and modest about her accomplishments in central Ohio and she was extremely generous with her insights and variety of techniques employed as each commission progressed her skills. She then explained several different styles she has developed in her own contemporary abstract methods of composition and use of oils and acrylics. I could hear her uncertainties in exposing her vulnerabilities to the members of this intimate audience. There were the curious, several other painters, several students from Ohio State University and a loyal group of life-long friends there to support this authentic effort. Carol also shared her watercolor techniques and materials she uses in creating her own visions of her travels and the farm landscape she is so familiar with. Carol advises artists to collect photos and colors to work from in this watercolor process as she often creates in her home studio with background music and her favorite "Law and Order" episodes. LOL The last third of this artist's conversation was an actual demonstration of a new and rather unique technique she has seen on one of her travels--employing numerous trowels and rich oil paints scraped ever so gently onto her prepared canvas. I was totally in awe of her courage to attempt to create a new composition in her twenty- minute demonstration--sounds totally frightening to me. For those of us in the group this was an enriching, shared experience...almost magical to behold. Now, Carol was too critical of her outcome and yet it was an exquisite experience to watch the composition come to life. She demonstrated how each artist could go home to their studios and make this technique their very own. My gratitude goes out to Carol for her courage to share her development of her life as an artist. Her husband Skip has been supportive of her over these 20 years and today sat in the background to share his support and his pride for her determination and sense of personal accomplishment.
Ken has put together a very short video of some of my photographs so that I may be able to share this experience with others reading my blog. Thank you Carol for your generosity and wonderful stories that will inspire me and others as we make our way as artists. No one succeeds alone or in a vacuum. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart


  1. Happy New Year! Before I started reading your post the first thing that came to mind was the weather and how you and your friends nonchalantly sat there while the arctic winds blew outside.

    Sounds like a wonderful day. Carol is amazing. I always wanted to be a mural painter - even paint just one graffito. :)

  2. fACINATING! Tell Ken thank you for that great video. How interesting to do a painting like that. :)Bea

  3. The woman has balls. You could not get me to take a mural commission upon threat of DEATH!!! LOL!! I think the use of trowels is vey interesting; I am going to forward thos post on to one of my other artist friends who does collage but also uses a lot of gel mediums, etc....she might find it something to use with her work.
    And brave YOU---going out in the frigid weather!