How did you get started and then develop your career?
Carol Strock Wasson: I’m very fortunate that I live in a beautiful area and every day, barring clouds, I get to see the sunrise and sunsets. Some people might think the flat lands of Indiana are just too boring to paint. That’s where imagination and study of the master painters of the past come into play. It’s not really what’s out there that I’m trying to paint, it’s what is within me and how can I use the subject matter around me to express myself. I am always trying to paint the effects of light. The mind of an artist is a fertile and prolific starting point, I’ve realized that my countless studies and paintings, I will never run out of ideas.
I originally got started in plein air to relieve stress and soon came to love it. Painting outdoors became a way of life. It is through plein air practice that I learned color, value and shape relationships that are so important in my larger studio work. I also learned successful painting is no accident, its years of learning, painting, and connections with other artists.
How do you describe success?
I describe success one painting at a time. Did I reach my objective, did I push myself to answer the question I always ask when starting a painting? “What if” and “How can I show the beauty of the moment?”
How do you find inspiration?
Inspiration comes from walking, driving through whatever area I am in, something catches my eye, a trick of light, a color contrast, a value contrast or just the shape of something in the landscape. In other words, my mind is always searching, seeking, and asking questions.
What is the best thing about being an artist?
Besides the freedom of expression and the joy that accompanies plein air and studio painting. I have found how teaching has helped enforced my own understanding of color, value, shape, and design. Strange but it is the onset of Covid and the help of my friends through Pastel Artists Teaching Online group that I really began to blossom with teaching. I would say that doing all the teaching has opened my attitude about sharing and helping people reach their art goals. I have found that every time I prepare to teach, I learn as much as my students.
Who do you collect?
I collect and trade with many of the national artists I run into through my plein air travels. Brenda Boylan, Brian Sindler, Ken Auster, Carolyn Anderson, Ray Hassard, Jerry Smith, and John Seery Lester, along with many other regional artists, Donna Short, Mark Burkett, Mary Ann Davis, Sally Hughes, Wyatt LeGrand, the list is always growing.
To see more of Carol’s work, visit: www.carolstrockwasson.com