Clay and Paint
Carol Fennell is a local Colorado artist, who primarily works in clay and paint. Her intiricate and whimsical pieces perfectly encapsulate both Colorado’s most stunning features, as well as her own personality.
Born in Southern Indiana, Carol first noticed the patterns and textures of nature at an early age. As an undergraduate, she studied ceramic sculpture. She won scholarships and art awards in each of the four years that she attended. In 1992, Carol received her Masters of Fine Art (MFA) from Northern Illinois University, and she also received a Bachelor’s degree from University of S. Indiana in 1990.
Carol’s Use Of Clay and Paint –
“I loved the three dimensional quality of clay, but also wanted to work in paint.” In graduate school, Carol shifted her focus to painting, and created large sculptural paintings. “I was torn between the two mediums and it wasn’t until recently, I discovered a love of using both the clay and paint.”
Fennell loves the role of imagination, memory and humor in art. Designs, textures, and colors found in nature appear throughout her mixed media canvases. Each piece begins as an idea drawn onto the surface that comes alive as layers are added or scraped away and the texture and dimension appears.
She hand builds every piece from clay, and then it is carved and fired in a kiln. Afterwards, it is painted in layers with acrylics, metallic rubs or oil dry brush.
Carol’s Thoughts On Her Work-
“I have been a full time artist since I graduated with my MFA in painting in 1992. Knowing I wanted a career as an artist was an easy decision, but making it a career was difficult. I had a degree in hand, but knew very little about marketing, sales and production, which is what it takes to not only survive, but make a living.” Once Carol figured out that she wanted her work to celebrate women and nature, she started applying to tons of galleries and shows.
“My work is influenced by the natural beauty that surrounds me, and explores the boundaries of the traditional landscape. I look to the textures, shapes, designs and patterns in the earth, and convey what I see onto my clay canvas.
“I like my work to feel familiar. yet abstract. I am inspired by nature and strive not to imitate, but to express the beauty and feeling I perceive through our landscape, and to bring my whimsical spirit into the piece. My current pieces include images of birds blooming from plants as a way to represent the freedom of possibility and transience of life along with the importance of being grounded.”
“Aspens quaking against a brilliant blue sky or scarlet poppies bursting from their pods inspire me to create works of art that express my whimsical nature. I take scenes from the environment and push them to become something beyond what I see to what I feel. I am not married to a medium as much as an idea that I capture, re-create, and release into the world.”
Carol’s art is shown in numerous exhibitions and galleries, and has been for over 20 years, including The Evergreen Gallery. Sedona, Santa Fe, Vail, Breckenridge, Omaha, Dallas, and Denver also show her work. She currently has over 100 installations in public spaces including hospitals, health care offices, veterinary facilities, private collections, and more.
Carol now calls Colorado home along with her husband, two kids and a home full of beautiful art. When she’s not in the studio, she enjoys hiking, traveling and writing historic fiction novels.