Pinterest
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Meet FrenchGardenHouse Friend | Artist Carol Curtis

MeetCarolCurtis

One of the most exciting parts of my FrenchGardenHouse business is meeting inspiring, extraordinary people who love antiques as much as I do! Today, I am honored to introduce you to one of my clients, a fellow admirer of the old, antique French Country pieces I adore, Artist Carol Curtis. Not only that, Carol paints the French Country antiques she buys from FGH and creates stunning works of art, giving each treasure their own immortality. How fun is that?!

AntiqueFrenchTowels

Carol was born in the South, and studied architecture at Auburn University. After a career with the Hyatt Hotel Corporation where she used her impressive management, hospitality and design experience and skills to open new Hyatt Hotels around the country, Carol launched a successful catering company, then built a textile design business. The proud mother of two amazing daughters, Carol considers her family to be her most important accomplishment.

FrenchPearsCC

Carol is an accomplished watercolor and needlepoint artist whose designs capture the essence of still life and botanicals in exquisite detail.  Carol’s needlepoint designs were commissioned to grace the White House Christmas tree in 1997 and she has designed and distributed more than 75 original hand-painted needlepoint canvasses to more than 130 stores throughout the United States.

AntiqueFrenchIronstonePedestal

 

Carol’s true passion is watercolor, she has an amazing eye for color combined with an appreciation of the textures and fluid lines found in French antiques, as well as the garden. She is sharing some of her inspiration, completed paintings and paintings she is currently working on in her studio with all of us today. I know you will love meeting Carol, and enjoy her stunning French Country paintings!

CarolsFrenchGardenHouseAntiques

ps. See if you can spot these FrenchGardenHouse antiques in Carol’s watercolors….

 

1. Please tell us a little about yourself.  Who am I? First a Mom, a Grandmother and when there is time, a painter. Always a cook and room mother! I’ve moved from Phoenix to San Diego to 40 acres of wilderness in Tennessee. I now live in the forest with raccoons, a herd of deer, coyotes, wild turkeys, wild flowers and a river that periodically floods our single-lane cement bridge. Yesterday’s drama was rescuing a large box turtle from the pool. I paint or plant, mow or clear and weed everyday.  I teach watercolor workshops and visit family ( and maybe shop) in San Francisco.

FrenchEnamelware

2. When did you realize you wanted to be an artist and wanted to paint?  Being an artist is the way I experience the world; wanting to digest it at a slower and more appreciative pace. I look at a face and see the light falling on it, the relationship of shapes that melt in to each other. The history – the warm and cool – the density of texture or the bounce of light and color.

FrenchPotsandSifter

3. How would you describe your work? I believe that we seek what is missing. Apartment dwellers prefer landscapes; in times of famine, abundance in still life; in isolation, we people our spaces with portraiture.  You draw(paint) to learn …not ….learn to draw( paint). Study and technical ability are a prerequisite. I secretly imagine the conversations that French antiques have heard and put myself into that place, listening as I paint. I  challenge myself to express the surface texture of an old gardening tool, piece of pottery or blue and white China, to tell their stories.

FrenchFaience

4. What inspires you? Why do you incorporate French Antiques in your art? Quality Antiques, especially those with a practical bent, fill my home with warmth and attention to detail. They respect the dignity of pride in workmanship …as in a small French Cafe with its square cornered linen cloths smelling of handmade soap, and the best roasted chicken ever! That’s my world… I recreate it everyday on linen or cloth paper, imagining I have just turned a corner in France and stumbled on a …?

WorkinProgressCC

5. If your paintings could talk,  what would they say? A successful painting for me brings a sense of place, simplicity and familiarity. It is expressed and suggested ..coaxing the viewer to engage and discover something new with each viewing.

AntiqueLambertPitcher

Loves and Inspirations:

1. My favorite colors are:  Each pigment has its own personality. And will respond to its environment. (Like seating guests at a dinner party.). Lapis Lazuli and Malachite are 2 of the Ancient pigments I especially love. I found them in Holland from a 300 year old paint manufacturer. Semi- precious and grainy in texture, they introduce light into dark space. Who knew?!

FrenchLinenwithStrawberryplant

2. If I could have one wish, I would wish for:   I paint almost everyday… On airplanes wherever …a cup of water, no ice. My palette is enamel, 19th century, resurfaced by a friend in York. I’d love to be “a fly on the wall” at all of those 19th century painting conversations!

FrenchGeraniums

3. Right now I am reading: The top 3 on my stack… Blanche Odin as technique…
The Watercolors of Winslow Homer….the Watercolors of Dean Mitchell… and knitting instructions for a silk and cashmere baby blanket for 1 week old Crowley.

BerriesinBowlCC CarolCurtisPeaches

6. A FrenchGardenHouse antique I adore:  All things French Country! Of the pieces I have already purchased from FGH it’s difficult to chose a favorite: The tall white porcelain pitcher….no..Garden trowel..its patina…no… The ironstone bakery pedestal for its presence….no. For sure the handmade linens ..for the way they reflect neutral light. Little clay pots??? I admit, each one is a beautiful remnant of the past, I love them all. Can’t wait to see what you discover next!

BeginningIronstonePitcher
{I love this beginning painting of one of my favorite Ironstone Pitchers!}

 Grapefruit
Thank you so much, Carol, for graciously sharing your inspirational watercolors with all of us, and a peek into your artist’s life! For more of Carol:

Visit Carol’s Watercolor website here
To see and purchase Carol’s Art ….she has an email list for new unframed pieces curtis.carol1@gmail.com .

18 Responses to Meet FrenchGardenHouse Friend | Artist Carol Curtis

  1. Thanks to you for introducing us to Carol’s gorgeous artwork! How fun to see darling French vignettes in watercolor! I covet them all. Thanks for the post!
    Ginger

  2. Ginger, I know, isn’t it so fun? I love seeing “my” {well, now they are Carol’s!!} antiques painted with such beauty.

  3. I so enjoyed meeting Carol, thank you, what a talented artist and I particularly loved her “work in progress.” I love that she feels her greatest achievement is her daughters, I know just what she means, no matter what I have done and what I have achieved, by far my biggest achievement is our five children.

  4. I couldn’t agree more, Susan! Our children remain our greatest achievement…..{even if I only have two!}

  5. Hi, Lidy,
    What nice paintings and colors so warm and true to life, so enjoy and the settings as well, love flowers that are painted. Thanks for sharing~~~~~~~Have a Happy Fall~~~~~~~~~~~

  6. Lidy, her paintings are exquisite! I was drooling over the flowers. I can barely paint a piece of furniture, and even then I don’t do too good a job. I kind of lost track of you, my old friend! Well, gotcha now. We were bloggers “back in the day” weren’t we?
    Brenda

  7. Carol’s paintings take my breath away. Her two girls are special and I didn’t know she had an additional special talent.

    Hi to Carol from an old Phoenix friend.

  8. These watercolors are magnificent and how great that she has used some of the wonderful things from your shop as inspiration….such a lovely story and how great that she has landed in a great place such as Tennessee…I have 2 dear friends who are watercolor artists and will be sending this post to them!

  9. SO< I think she lives close to ME from her description and the FACT she shops in SAN FRANCISCO!!!!
    SMALL WORLD…….I love that about this BLOGGING STUFF!
    XX

  10. What a thrill to get to “meet” this talented artist. I love the idea that she paints treasures from French Garden House, doubling their beauty for a lifetime. Thank you, Lidy for sharing Carol with us.
    XO
    Cheryl

  11. Carol, I love your paintings…I”m Billie from Sigis in La Jolla and miss seeing you…Hope all is well…Billie Hakes

  12. Hi Billie! I miss you all too. It’s turning to Fall here and Beautiful… Hi to Diana at Girard Gourmet and Penny at the Athenaeum…. Miss you all!! Thank you for your comments!! Back to the easel… See you soon ….Carol

Leave a reply