For beauty’s sake
This story was featured in the February 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art February 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.
When Carla Louise Paine moved into an old farmhouse, she never imagined that the objects inside would one day inspire her art. The farmhouse, located on 36 acres near Olympia, WA, contained a treasure trove of artifacts from bygone years. Paine’s boyfriend had purchased the house from his grandparents, who were children of the Depression era and tended to save everything. The rich bounty included helmets from World War I and II, perfume bottles, a signed letter from author John Steinbeck, silver pitchers, war ration books, mining stock certificates, and first-edition books like The Cat in the Hat. “It was a house full of stuff,” Paine says. “And I am finding stories in all of it.” Indeed, the “stuff” soon found its way into her figurative paintings, such as A NOVICE CELLIST and I DIED FOR BEAUTY, a self-portrait. Paine says the objects inspired her to create increasingly complicated paintings that featured the farmhouse treasures.
At 33, the young artist has begun to receive prestigious recognition for such works and others. Last year Paine was juried into two national shows presented by the Oil Painters of America. And recently one of her works, a nude, won a top award at the International Art Renewal Center Salon Exhibition, which is on view through February 4 at New York’s Salmagundi Club. Whether Paine is painting a reclining nude with a straightforward backdrop or a young woman surrounded by drapes, dried flowers, vases, and pearls, her creative eye stays focused on beauty. “I like the idea of finding beauty and creating beauty,” she says.
Paine showed an early interest in art and began taking lessons in the third grade. Her interest continued into high school, and after graduation she briefly attended the Art Institute of Chicago. Seeking more traditional training, she enrolled in the Florence Academy of Art in Italy, where she studied with Daniel Graves and immersed herself in classical oil painting for three years. “I think good art always has a basis in technique and tradition,” Paine says. “I learned patience there, and to discipline myself to paint every day, whether I wanted to or not.” —Bonnie Gangelhoff
Childhood’s End Gallery, Olympia, WA.
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