Pastel artist Carolyn Molder was the featured artist in July 2010 on Cow Art and More. Carolyn has been painting in pastels and watercolors for almost a decade. A move to the mountains of North Carolina was the perfect fit for her artistic talents, allowing her to completely immerse herself in the peaceful surroundings.
Why do you paint?
Painting feeds and restores the creativity in me. There are times I have to put that creativity on paper and that generates more creativity.
How do you decide what to paint?
In deciding what to paint, I’m usually enthusiastic about the scene or animals –sometimes it could be a breath-taking scene or expression of an animal. Something there just grabs my soul.
How did you get started?
Since I was a little girl I’ve drawn. I can remember as a child drawing animals – guess that’s why they are so special to me. Until about 10 years ago, life got in the way of my art but I found a week long watercolor class at the John C Campbell Folk School. I knew I had to take that class and I’ve been painting ever since.
What is your technique?
I am a representational painter using pencil, pastel and watercolor. I do like detail especially in the subject or focal area. When working in pastels with animals, I like to capture the expression first – the eyes are so expressive so that is my starting point.
Where did you learn your technique?
I’ve taken numerous workshops with really talented and well known instructors. I’m enriched by each learning experience sometimes only taking one little idea. I can always bring home a new technique or way of doing something.
Where do you get your inspiration?
My inspiration with an animal, its usually the expression. With other subjects, the inspiration is seeing the uniqueness and conveying the beauty I see to the canvas or paper.
How long does it take you to get the average creation?
Usually it can take a week to get a watercolor painting where I want it but the pastel is much faster and I can sometimes complete in a day.
Do you ever have work you don't like?
Not every painting is a winner or a keeper. Oh yes, sometimes those animals just won’t cooperate! *smile* I just can’t get those eyes quite right. Over the years, I've had a stack of paintings that just didn’t turn out.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
I think if someone really wants to paint, they need to seek a mentor and paint every day. If possible, it’s important to paint en plein aire (outdoors) to train your eye – I just can’t express how valuable that training is.
What else may people like to know about you?
I live in rural western North Carolina with lots of old barn buildings which I love to photograph and paint. Whenever traveling, my husband always knows to slow down when I pick up my camera to get that special shot of the barn along side the road.
What else do you do besides your art?
I have shown my golden retrievers in dog shows, agility, obedience trials and field events. This has helped me greatly in animal anatomy which has in turn helped with my art. I also teach dog obedience to pet owners.
What would you like to do more of in the future?
I would like to do more farm scenes and animal paintings.