Visual Artist: Paintings
Carolyn Hancock uses pastel to paint the story of a unique moment in a person’s life. Her figurative art begins with a careful drawing of the face, concentrating on the eyes and gesture of the head and shoulders. She uses both rich and subtle colors to model the face with lights and shadows. Her color choices may be unusual but, in the final composition, they blend to a natural, believable balance of skin tones. Whether vibrant or subdued, the finished painting always leaves the viewer with emotion. Carolyn is strongly influenced by her travel to Middle Eastern countries. “Walk through the bazaars and enjoy the smell of spices, tobacco, coffee, perfumes, bread or fresh fruits. Then combine all those scents with the handcrafted products, the gold souks, the carpet merchants, the blue mosaics and inlaid marble work. Those are the images, but then you see the people, as individuals, and understand their life is filled just as yours is, with family and friendships, easy and tough days. The dress, accent and style of life may be different, but we are all alike.” Now residing south of Houston, Texas, she shows her work in her beautiful home, which showcases many handcrafted items purchased in travels to different countries. A native of Mobile, Alabama, Carolyn grew up in the slow-down tradition of the South. Contrast that with two years in lively Los Angeles, where she began her journey into art. Carolyn learned the basics of representational drawing at Mission Renaissance in Glendale, California. She attended art classes at UCLA and Pasadena City College, and life drawing at Hollywood’s American Animation Institute. In Yokohama, Japan, Carolyn experienced an “aha” moment with a Daniel Greene instructional video, and still uses his method of drawing the face “from the inside out.” Carolyn taught herself how to paint with pastel, studying the few books available on the subject. After a move to Saudi Arabia and travel to many countries, Carolyn found that photographs she took were always of people, usually close cropped on the face. Her natural proclivity to the face was firmly established, and she has found that every painting tells a story, but maybe leaves a little mystery. She has continued her progress in pastel by taking workshops with master pastelists Daniel Greene, Doug Dawson, Bob Gerbracht, Bob Rohm, Anatoly Dverin, Jerry Hunsinger, and Madlyn Woolwich. Her work has received awards in national juried exhibitions in the United States. She exhibited at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum with Japan International Artists Club and at the Culture Festival in Yokohama, Japan. The series “Nihongo Faces, Gaijen Eyes” from travels in Japan was exhibited in the Middle East. Her paintings of the Maasai/Samburu people of Kenya, Africa, have received awards and are in various collections. Three of her paintings were published in Best of America Pastel Artists Vol. II, 2009. Her work is in private collections in the United States, British Columbia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, England, Israel and Australia. Her website blog (http://carolynhancock.com/blog) relates the stories of the sometimes difficult but always fun travel adventures and how they lead to her pastel paintings.