AGORA GALLERY - NEW YORK Standing next to my feature images
A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY
Inspiration – Past – Future and The Now.
My journey has taken me on some remarkable adventures. Meeting famous equestrians or working for people who have owned wonderful equine companions. As a youngster, I was always painting and drawing my favourite subject… the horse. It wasn’t until much later in life that I was in a position to become a fully fledged artist. My work was exhibited in many places around the UK and abroad. Most notably, was my show in New York in the spring of 2016.
The key to considering any piece of artwork; as a success, is the inspiration behind it. The subject has to grab my attention and in the past few years I have noticed an attraction to the natural world. Especially gardens and florals that show purity and unembellished organic form. From horses to gardens, both are wild at heart. I like the challenge in attempting to capture that spirit.
Stylistically, I like my work to be loose and free. This means I can apply my artistic license to any piece of artwork that I am engaged in.
Claude Monet is one of my hero’s and has been a constant source of inspiration. His use of colour and brush work shows a level of expression that gets me every time I see his work.
Being an artist is a joy and a pleasure, and I love sharing my creativity with others.
PAINTINGS BY CARO AT THE GREAT YORKSHIRE SHOW
Frequently Asked Questions
It has always been a big interest of mine. Since the early days at school, when I realised I could do something good! Like most people, certain talents are gifts and are present from an early age. Childhood is an important part of how we are eventually shaped as adults.
Yes, over the years I have engaged with many people and created art work for them. Every commission is different. I work with different mediums such as oils, watercolours, charcoal and chalk drawings in varying sizes. I always advise a quick phone consultation before we get started so I can try to connect more with the subject, whether it be a person, animal or object.
When I was young I was besotted with the horse. This was fuelled by the TV programs of the day, Follifoot, and The White Horses. As my paper round earnings bought me a 30 min riding lesson, and my parents having no knowledge of the object of my desire, they encouraged me to draw and paint them, Since my Grandfather knew a bit about oil painting I was given a box of tubes and stiff brushes, and I was away.
When I finally achieved my dream of becoming a horse owner I knew I wanted to move from renting a stable and land (which was not ideal) to having my own land. Owning a horse is very time consuming so I found it more convenient having a horse closer to home. Shepley had the perfect green fields and open land to look after a horse. Exercising a horse in Shepley was perfect because the roads were very quiet 30 years ago, but a lot has changed since then. The Sovereign Garage was just a shed with some petrol pumps.
I like to capture the fleeting moment. I have a ‘loose expressionistic’ style. I don’t have the intense curiosity or interest to do the very fine detail but I like to leave the paint to find its own way. In a way, I am just the ‘conductor’ of the paint and the canvas is the orchestra. I allow the paint to ‘be’ and then manipulate it to come alive. It’s the same for all mediums, waterolour, pastels and charcoals.
My University tutor once said “Artists are born, it’s what you do with it in the meantime.” This is the the old adage, 10% talent 90% work! Many people have wonderful creative gifts, but if they don’t use their gifts, the gifts will fade. I would encourage anyone to pursue their interests and keep them alive.
There are many pieces, but I have a special place in my heart for Whistlejacket, by George Stubbs. Hanging at the National Gallery in London. The horse was at stud at Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham. His winnings as a premium racehorse in the 1760’s apparently paid for the beautiful stable block. Stubbs painted a sister painting that is in a private collection. Whistlejacket was created specifically for the Marble Hall in the huge house. I like the Yorkshire connection to this very famous painting.
Every painting has its demands and challenges. Artists can loose a beautiful painting by overworking, or by adding a single brush mark that alters the tone, expression, liveliness, or rhythm of a painting. In a digital world, images can be altered at the click of a button, but making a painting ‘work’ has an element of risk and I think that is the challenging part.
It depends on the medium, I find watercolours are better restarted if its gone past the point of no return, but with oils you have the benefit of being able to paint over any areas that need to be reworked. My University tutor always encouraged us to work through it. It’s the history of the work. He would say. Making adjustments to a painting is part of the process, and I like to ramp up the artistic license and make it visually pleasing to the eye.
Its what I did at University. Full size horse paintings on canvas were my unique selling point. Now years later, it feels good to manage smaller projects.
Exhibitions come in many forms, from Art@the House in Shepley, to Chelsea in New York. I’ve had work in public places such as hospitals, restaurants. My work has also been displayed in official galleries in London, Manchester and Leeds etc. But the most enjoyable exhibition for me, was showing at the Great Yorkshire Show, where I could meet my audience and enjoy the chat about equine friends while they decided what painting to buy.
During Covid-19, primary research wasn’t that easy to source. Going out and about with my camera and sketchbook to horse events wasn’t possible. Instead I decided to use this unfortunate world event to branch out and find some new subjects to engage with. My garden was the obvious next choice and is full of vibrant colour in the summertime. That has kept my brushes busy. I also carried out a portrait of my son, who has been on my waiting list for ages. The lockdown opened up a lot of new ideas for me to try.
Yes, I had open studios in the past and Holmfirth Art Week is a permanent fixture on my calendar. People can make an appointment to visit my studio if they are looking for a piece of authentic art. I can show them what is on the easel or discuss a project they have in mind. I even offer tuition and lessons in person from my stable studios. I have a range of cards and prints that are reasonably priced and people buy them as presents for their horse loving friends. Please give me a call if you would like to discuss any of this further.
Yes I will. It’s not always a horse theme. In the past it has been other animals such as, hares, dogs and also winter scenes… so it will be a surprise! You can visit Cumberworth Post Office and see my of horsey and floral cards, or you can continue to browse my website or find me on social media (Facebook, Instagram) Paintingsby Caro.