Carolyn Land – Nature as Muse

January 20, 2018


“My art reflects who I am and I am nature. – Carolyn Land

On a cool day in January, the Sandra Lloyd Gallery warmly welcomed 30 community members to The Hub’s monthly Talk Art series. Carolyn Land, whose been with The Hub for six months, began by answering questions most often asked of the artist who dabbles in both the real and the abstract.

Integrating Art Forms

Often people wonder why she pursues both art forms. “For me, they are both part of me. They are totally integrated within me.”

While she doesn’t prefer one form over the other, abstract expression excites her. If she wants to escape, she goes to her studio to enter another world. “I can choose the realistic world or an abstract world.”

Realistic painters “have a road map. They know where they’re going. When you’re doing an abstract, you have to get off the road. You have to take the back roads.”

Land explains it’s more like putting a puzzle together. With abstract expression, “You don’t have that map. You don’t know where you’re going. It’s exciting. Because each thing you put down is dependent on the other thing that’s there.”

Following the Rules

“The rules of composition that you have for realism and abstract art are exactly the same. You’re using the same four elements: line, form, color and texture. And you’re going to achieve the same principals: balance, variety, rhythm.”

While the abstract excites her, the real is grounding. “When I’m doing a realistic painting, I get so into it I obsess about one spot. I take myself to that spot. I am not looking at the whole. I am a plane on a rock. The bark on a tree. I am feeling the wind, the grass, the ground.”

Finding the nuances in the now helps her later. “I am actually feeling where I was and I am feeling those little things that I want to take and put into an abstract later on.”

Nature as Muse

“My creative expression comes from the earth. I am anchored in the earth. I am anchored in Mother Nature. It is my muse. I can’t say that anything else motivates me like earth does.”

Land relayed a tidbit a lot of gardeners can relate to. “I have two passions: one is gardening and the second is painting. If I am upset, if I’m having a bad day all I have to do is go out and pull weeds for 10 minutes. It’s like the earth sucks all the bad stuff out of me.”

Tools of the trade - Carolyn is a big fan of using handmade dyed paper and Golden brand products in her art.
Tools of the trade – Carolyn is a big fan of using handmade dyed paper and Golden brand products in her art.

Written by Tonya West, Hub volunteer