Friday, May 27, 2011

Artist Interview: Kristen Hotham Carroll

What is your name:   Kristen Hotham Carroll

Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist:   With the exception of one college course, I am largely self taught.

What is the style of your pieces:  I have a very loose, very free style.  I don’t like to hit people over the head with my ideas or images.  I like to show a hint of my subject, and leave room for much more interpretation beyond.  I think of art as a very collaborative experience between the artist and the viewer. 

What is the medium in which you work: I use acrylics and oils mainly, but also charcoal, pastels, and photography.  I most often paint with a palette knife.

What started you on your path as an artist: I embraced creative outlets from a very young age.  I was humming and “singing” before I could even speak.  My parents were great about exposing me and my sister to the arts, and we often went to plays and musicals.  My parents noticed artistic talent in me as a child, and I attended private art lessons for many years when I was quite young.  For many years, I supported myself through a career in healthcare administration, but I have been thrilled to recently make the leap to living life as a full time artist.

What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life: Art is the texture of my life.

What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in: I love mixed media.

Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like: My work is on display at Wet Paint Gallery in Key West, FL, as well as a few other locations, but I have done shows as well.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with people and discussing art often generates the most personal and meaningful discussions.

Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in: Ha!  I joke that all of my clothes are now “painting” clothes.  I try to keep my paint clothes separate.  I most often paint in scrubs and a t shirt.  I would guestimate that I have about 20 “painting” t shirts.  I am a VERY messy artist.  I’m pretty sure I have paint on my hands, face, and in my hair as I type this to you…

What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist?  Nothing.  I love every part of being an artist. 

What is your favorite sandwich of all time: Prosciutto and Mozzarella Panini from Tano’s Pizzeria in Manchester, NH.

Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they: I am working on 52 figures, 26 male and 26 female.  It has been very interesting and challenging to create so many different formats for the same subject.  Figures are my favorite thing to paint, though, so I’m having a blast with this project.

Who is your favorite artist alive or dead:  My wife, Chris Hotham Carroll, of course!

What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person: Honestly, it was one of Chris’s pieces, called Broken.  I have attached a copy for you.

Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work: I used to have animals, and they loved my work!  Animals and children seem to appreciate the complete and utter disaster and chaos that is my creating space…adults have other thoughts…;-)

Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us: The best place to see my work live is at our gallery in Key West, Wet Paint, at 430 Duval St.  I also have a few pieces in the Island Décor in the Keys Gallery in Tavernier.  I keep facebook updated with ongoing exhibits and gallery listings.

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