Today, I’m delighted to feature an interview with American artist, Carrie Schmitt, who contacted me recently.
When did you start painting flowers and where are you based?
I began painting in 2009 after developing a life-threatening allergy to heat.
No longer able to spend my days in my beloved garden, I began painting flowers instead of planting them.
This became my solace while homebound for several months during the intense summer heat in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Since then, my family and I have moved to Seattle, Washington to live in a more temperate climate.
Today, I paint daily in my home studio that sits on top of a cool, misty mountain among giant evergreens.
Could you tell us about your particular style of painting?
My floral abstracts are revealed through layers of paint in a process known as intuitive painting, which I learned from taking a class with Flora Bowley.
I make random brush strokes and color choices, and I layer on paint until I see images emerge and color combinations that catch my eye.
Could you tell us about some of your recent commissions?
I recently began doing wedding bouquet commissions. I begin with inspiration from a bride’s bouquet and adapt it to my painting style to create a unique and meaningful piece of original art.
The painting becomes a lovely talking piece for a home, as well as a treasure to share the story of your wedding day and pass on someday.
So much care is involved in what flower types and colors a woman chooses for her bouquet, and I think this tells a lot about her. It gives insight into who she is, a piece of family history.
I’d love to have a painting of my grandmother’s wedding bouquet.
What are your plans for 2013?
My top priority is always to make time to paint. I constantly want to evolve, learn and improve my ability as an artist.
Other than that, I hope to get my art out into the world for others to enjoy.
My other goal is to design on-line and in-person flower painting classes.
I will be offering a one-day workshop for local families to create a piece of art together and can’t wait to see what each family creates.
Do you have a favourite flower?
So many flowers captivate me. Visually, the loose layers and fullness of peonies make my knees wobbly and are my favorite choice for bouquets.
The scent of jasmine and gardenias make me swoon. I also admire the wild carefree nature of vines and love their refusal to be contained and conform.
Roses remind me of a family love story. My grandfather used to surprise my grandmother once each month with a rose instead of a dozen on Valentine’s Day, so she could enjoy her favorite flower all year long. How sweet is that?
Their story became the inspiration for my Single Rose Collection, which allows people to give the gift of one rose painting each month for a year.
Many thanks to Carrie for all her help in compiling today’s blog post. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading through her answers and seeing her beautiful floral paintings.
I love the vibrancy and cheerfulness of Carrie’s artwork, which would certainly add a splash of colour to a room.
And what a lovely story about her grandparents…
(Images : Carrie Schmitt)