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Carol Shaw's personal journey as an artist began in her childhood. Growing up overlooking the North Sea and living on the North East Coast of England, she showed an aptitude from an early age.
Carol went on to study at Ilkley College where the art department was renowned for forward thinking and innovation in the development of all creative art. The college was affiliated to Leeds University where Carol was able to study the works of modern artists by having access to the wealth of galleries and Museums. There she qualified as an art teacher and worked in the primary field as a teacher and art co-ordinator.
Carol started showing her work in galleries throughout the North of England. She honed her skills as an artist by running after school art lessons and clubs for both children and adults. She also holds demonstrations and workshops for local Art Societies.
After many visits to a safari park outside Alicante in Spain, Carol spent several years developing her style, drawing upon techniques used in oil painting, pastel and watercolour to create bold colour fields and depth of vision within her paints, which she achieves by layering her colour.
Initially, her subjects were based on the big cats which she had observed in her extensive travels to zoos and safaris. There she became passionate about the conservation of British wildlife and that lead to her painting animals of the British countryside.
Carol held a solo exhibition in Kirkleatham Hall Museum during the summer of 2012. She decided to return to her roots and include beach donkeys as part of the summer exhibition entitled "Happy Holidays". Her subjects included many beach scenes including children, but the most popular and sort after, were the beach donkey paintings.
"They invoke the childhood memories in people," Carol explains, "I tend to sketch and paint the donkeys from a child's perspective. I sit low and shift the horizon line making it higher in the painting. This shifts the perspective giving the viewer the experience of seeing the painting through the eyes of a child."
Carol has her studio at Saltburn Studios and Gallery. Saltburn is a beautiful, picturesque seaside town on the North Yorkshire coast, perfect for studying beach donkeys and the local wildlife. The North Yorkshire moors are only a few miles away and there is plenty of woodland walkways where Carol is able to study nature first hand.
Being in a community of artists where they work within the building complex they are all able to share the Gallery space. Carol finds working with the other artists stimulating and far more productive than working in isolation. The gallery and studios have open studios twice a year where the public are invited to celebrate the art work and see each artist at work.
"I start a story with each of my paintings,” Carol says, "but allow the viewer to join me in finishing the story with his or her own emotions and experiences."
Carol is now exploring her art by keeping her wildlife images clean and pure. By extracting her subject from its environment, it shows each in a unique way.
"I want to create paintings that convey a bit of mystery and adventure," says Carol, "but also the feeling of great joy."
Carol's work can be viewed in many galleries throughout the North of England. She lives in Guisborough on the edge of the North Yorkshire moors and a few miles from the North East coast.