|Carolyn Stephens Dip.A&C.Hons - Wanganui|
Artist in Mixed Media
"Imagination is more important than knowledge" Albert Einstein.
My art is inspired by a life-long love of beauty and balance. Story telling, whether fact or fiction, is the catalyst for my work. I create visual tales, leaving the viewer to weave the story that relates to their own life journey.
Symbolism is used extensively. The vessel depicting personal journeys - Bird, personification of soul - Tree, home to Soul - ladder, spiritual ascension - Key, holds the answers to the challenges and opportunities the doors and windows offer.
Myths, metaphors and personal experiences are often melded together to create evocative and sometimes magical works. Inspiration may come from a chance meeting with a strange character a simple conversation with a hidden meaning for me or by exploring the frameworks of my dreams and emotions.
Music also influences my art. I am drawn to tactile music with lots of layers, grit, texture and emotion. For me, this is the music that evokes magical visions.
I surround myself with materials and found objects and respond to what is around me. I play, building layers into my art and create as it comes to me, rather than to a 'Prescribed Correct Theory'.
I trust my intuitive gifts to show me the way to tell my stories.
To view a selection of Carolyn's work click here
A few questions I asked Carolyn
What factors in your life do you believe played a significant part in you becoming an artist?
Because I love to create.
What process do you tend to follow when creating a new piece of art?
I develop the idea in my head, then I do quick sketches, and straight into the making process and I allow it to take on a life of its own.
Where do you seek inspiration for your art, what inspires you?
Inspiration comes from everyday life, everything around me like people, conversations, dreams, and experiences.
What is your favourite colour and why?
I don't have a favourite colour I love them all.
What is your favourite creative tool?
Dental tools that I love!
What are the most interesting things you have done or that have happened to you that have contributed to your art career?
Meeting with Ray Hammond a family friend from my birth place Thames, New Zealand. He invited me to show my portfolio while I was doing fine line and pointalism work and advised me never to go to Art School because they would have a crippling effect on my development as an artist.
Moving to Wanganui and opening a gallery I gained valuable contacts and knowledge of the art scene.
Having Solo exhibitions push your boundaries and help you gain confidence with your work and expanding ideas.
Another High Point in my art career was when I donated to the Serjeant Gallery for the 100 Up Auction to raise funds for the building fund. The mixed media piece became one of three works to create a bidding frenzy and ended up selling for nearly three times the reserve price to an anonymous buyer in Christchurch. The other two works that had collectors excited were a porcelain bottle by the late Evelyn Kelly and two water-colour and pencil landscapes by the late Ted Lewis.
So, as you can imagine that really encouraged me to continue in my mixed media work.
And getting a diploma in honors in Art and Creativity.
What would others say are your five personality pluses?
Down to Earth, loving, kind, generous and reliable.
What do you love about being an artist?
The freedom of being able to work when and where you want.
What exhibitions are you most proud of?
Celtic Exhibition which I had in Kapiti Coast in 2001 because I got to relate to my family roots.
What professional and personal obstacles have you overcome to get where you are today?
Learning to promote myself.
How do you spend your time outside the studio, including hobbies, interests, sports, family?
I like to catch up with friends and family over coffee and simply relax!
In what ways are you making a difference in people's lives?
What creative ideas and plans are in the pipeline for the next 12 months?
Develop a new series, continue on publishing a book, and remember to take time off for fun and rest!
If you were not an artist, what would you be?
A Milliner or Florist.
What makes you laugh out loud?
When I make a fool of myself.
If you could make one rule for the world, what would it be?
Live in Peace and Harmony!
My idea of a perfect Sunday is….?
Breakfast in bed with a nice book.
What do people say about your work?
Blown away by the fine detail.
Who is your favourite Artist, and why?
Ray Hammond he inspired and encouraged me to follow my dream.
What would you like to see change in the Art Industry?
Artists promoting, supporting and helping each other.
Do you buy other artists work? If so who?
I trade with other artist's work that I admire.
Why do you think people should buy your work?
Because it is honest work.