Interview with Colleen Carson, IWS

Friday, November 8, 2013

My favorite watercolor artist is my grandma Colleen Carson.  I recently have collaborated with her to create an online gallery of her artwork, and she graciously consented to an interview for my blog.

Q: What inspired you to become an artist?
A: I don't believe it was inspiration. It's something that was in my family. Everybody did it, and I just assumed that I would do it too.

Q: What is your favorite thing to paint?
A: I don't really have a favorite. I don't like abstract very much; I prefer a conglomeration of different styles. I love florals. I love animals. I do not like to paint portraits other than of children and animals.
The Shepherd is Coming
Q: Do you have a favorite of your paintings?
A: One of my favorites—and it's almost gone—is a picture of a sheep barn with the sheep coming out of the barn and walking down a pathway in the light. To me it has a spiritual essence about it. It's entitled “The Shepherd is Coming”--and He surely is.

Q: What is the most difficult thing to paint?
A: People. You can never satisfy people. No one sees themselves as they really are. So its, “Well, I don't have warts, and I don't have a mole there, and my hair is not  that shade of red.” And so the hassle brings it to the point where even though it's lucrative, I don't often do it.

Q: What advice would you have for a young artist?
A: If you're serious about art, do it! Because the more you do it, the easier it gets. You can become good at one medium: perhaps watercolors, perhaps oil, clay, and then try another. It brings out your creativity, and when we use a talent—like with music—it grows.

Q: Do you have any interesting anecdotes from your experiences as an artist that you would like to share?
A: Many; as you have camaraderie with other artists, peculiar things happen—and funny things. That's part of the joy of being creative—meeting other people who have the same interests as you do. There are lots of funny anecdotes, many which I would not put in print, but I love getting together and being with my artist friends.
"Bountiful Harvest"  1993 Calendar Cover for the Chicago Central and Pacific Railroad
Q: What have been the highlights of your painting career?
A: Probably one of the greatest highlights was being hired by the Chicago Central and Pacific Railroad to do their calendar art, and I had the joy of doing it for five years. That was a great boost to my career. People thought, “Oh, she can paint for the railroad; maybe she is a good painter.”

Q: Do you have a favorite color?
A: Yes, blue! --and then more blue and more blue.

Falling Leaves--one of my favorites.
Q: What are your other hobbies and interests?
A: Through the years my other hobbies and interests have fallen by the wayside, so that I can devote my time to art. I did work as a florist for 13 years, and I enjoyed that immensely—but there again it was creating. And gardening—I love flower gardening. It grieves me that it's very difficult for me to do it now that it's later in life, but the Lord's got something else for me to do. I don't know what yet, but I'm anxiously awaiting.
"Texas Treasure"
Q: Do you have any thoughts on how painting and being an artist reflects on the greater spectrum of life?
A: Our Lord was a Creator. If I have any talent in my life in the category of being creative, I feel that it's a gift that came directly from Him. There are days when I know what I paint is pleasing to Him, and there are days when I tear papers up; I know they're not pleasing. You have to have that connection with the Creator to enjoy painting and do it well.
"Light Source"
Please feel free to browse Carson Art Gallery online at