This week’s April 10, 2020 Dan’s Papers cover artist, North Fork-based painter Carol C. Young, talks about the importance of art in her life and how she got her start at an early age.
What was the inspiration for this piece?
I love the approach of spring. The budding flowers and trees are beautiful and a glimpse of warmer weather to come. I also love to see the baby bunnies—they are everywhere on the North Fork at this time of year and it always makes me smile. In this painting, I tried to capture the sweetness of a bunny among the colors of spring.
Where do you find your artistic inspiration?
I find a lot of my inspiration through nature. I am very intrigued by the play of light and shadow. The North Fork landscape is one of my biggest inspirations. There is something about the light here that makes shadows so interesting. I am known for my paintings of barns, and I am captivated by the shadows that are cast by peaks and valleys in structures and how they reflect on the landscape.
Talk about your artist process.
I always coat my canvases with an underpainting of cadmium orange. I free-hand paint my subject over this. I like the spontaneity of this technique. My lines aren’t always straight and accurate. It gives my work movement and emotion. I let the orange underpainting show through a lot which gives my work a type of glow and warmth. I paint with a bold palette and exaggerate the contrast and colors. Weather permitting, I like to paint plein air (out in the open) whenever possible, because I feel that is such an authentic way to capture a subject through all of the senses. I do spend most winter months in my home studio working from photographs I have taken.
How did you first get into art?
I remember drawing at a very young age. When I was a young girl, I would paint rocks and sell them for a quarter and when I made my first sale I was hooked. My dad was a great nurturer of my art. I believe I inherited my creative side from him. He was an engineer/architect by trade, but he can draw really well. I was a fine art major in college and was very influenced by the artist Edward Hopper. I fell in love with the way he captured the light in his paintings and I believe his work inspired me in developing my own style.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?
This is a tough question—can’t imagine not being an artist. It’s who I am. I guess I would be doing something that didn’t interest me!
What does Easter mean to you?
Easter is a time to spend with family and enjoy the approach of Spring. It always meant “hope” to me. At this difficult time we are facing with the Coronavirus and social distancing, it really hits home that I won’t be able to spend Easter with my entire family as I do every year. I will miss this gathering immensely. Hope is really needed now.