Discover local Bridgeport artists and their work at American Fabrics Arts Building's annual Open Studios event! Nov. 9th & 10th 10am to 5pm both days!Read More
“The main goal I have is to portray the essence of an image without giving away all of the answers to what you’re looking at. Having some ambiguity allows the viewer to engage, reflect, and feel,” says McClintock. “My wish is that people will find a piece to connect with and experience some of the passion that inspired the painting”.
Carole McClintock: Combination Neo-Impressionist & Expressive Painter
AmFab artist Carole McClintock recounts the moment she first fell in love with painting. She was twelve years old, traveling in Asia with her parents when she came across a herd of water buffalo grazing on the rice patty fields of Japan’s countryside. She remembers going home and painting what she experienced— conjuring up imagery from the most creative corners of her mind.
Today, Carole McClintock embraces her artwork without constraint as she creates with freedom and passion. She celebrates the beauty of nature in which she coexists, channeling the energy of the natural world through her paintbrush and onto her canvas. The result? Works of art that only she can create and share with the world around her.
McClintock paints in a beautiful combination of neo-impressionism and expressive styles. Neo-impressionism is a style of painting achieved by strategically placing small dabs of neighboring primary colors next to one another to produce an illuminating effect. The expressive painting style McClintock exhibits in her work shies away from objective reality; working instead to illustrate the subjective emotional response that the object triggers within her. Famous artists like Monet, Matisse, and Cezanne evolved this spontaneous style of painting by utilizing the expressive possibilities of line and color to illustrate emotional themes.
The Evolution of An Artist: Painter Carole McClintock’s Personal & Professional Experiences
Creating has always come naturally for AmFab artist Carole McClintock. As a small child in school, her mind often wandered to its own creative world as she would draw sketches of her teachers in her notebook. Today, McClintock’s work focuses primarily on a series of water themes, in which she depicts natural and instinctive interpretations of her time spent swimming, surfing, sailing, and scuba diving. Growing up on the West Coast of California has cultivated a strong appreciation of the sea in this talented painter. Her paintbrush is a tool that translates the vivid energy of the ocean and the intense spectrum of light that dances upon it onto canvas for herself and the world to enjoy.
McClintock majored in both Art History and Studio Art throughout her college education. She was fortunate enough to spend her entire junior year in Paris, France, where she spent two to three days per week studying at the Louvre Museum. Looking back, McClintock states that the experience helped her to understand where art came from, what we are doing with it, and how it got to where it is now.
Both time and experience have played a heavy hand in influencing McClintock’s painting style. She describes her artwork from the 90s as quite literal and objective; she tended to lean towards tightly translating an object onto canvas with a tangible focus. These days, McClintock cares more for honoring whatever feelings an object may evoke within her. McClintock’s paintings do more than merely illustrate her subject in motion; they illustrate the subjective emotion an object elicits within her.
McClintock is currently working on images inspired by her travels to Madrid and Morocco this past June. From bull fights in Madrid to the people, monkeys, teas and culture of Morocco—this artist has been truly inspired. She plans to revisit her underwater series with fresh perspective upon wrapping up this most recent project.
McClintock’s Most Memorable & Rewarding Experiences as an Artist
Perhaps one of McClintock’s most memorable projects involved a koi fish pond she happened to come across in 2006, while supporting her family after her father-in-law had fallen ill. Carole and her mother-in-law would sit and sip coffee on the grounds of the establishment her father-in-law was residing in. They would reflect on what life would look like once their loved one had passed. She recounts the immense peace that the pond’s presence provided; McClintock was, once again, struck with inspiration by the waters surrounding her life.
McClintock states – and most artists will agree – that it often takes a long time for ideas to marinate, or percolate, before they can become tangible works of art. As such, a few years came and went between the passing of McClintock’s father-in-law and the start of her sentimental, koi-fish-pond-inspired project. But once the artist began painting the koi pond and the fish within it, she could barely put down her paint brush.
As it turned out, McClintock’s natural way of painting —which was entirely inspired by her subjective interpretation of the koi pond – ended up bursting at the seams with meaning for its viewers. On more than one occasion, viewers of McClintock’s work noticed messages in her paintings that the artist had previously been entirely unaware of. This was extremely validating for her to experience—as in her mind, all she had done was translate her own interpretation of her subject.
When asked about the most rewarding commission she’d ever received, McClintock recounts a very fulfilling experience. The artist had a few 10x12 pieces on display at a small show in Connecticut, when she was approached by a group of ladies commissioning artists to complete paintings for a new hospital in Stamford, CT. The women requested that McClintock paint her original 10x12 paintings on a much larger scale, and the artist did so happily.
McClintock’s heart was full when she saw her paintings hanging on the walls of the new Stamford hospital. She explains how incredibly fulfilling it is to know that she created something that could potentially spark joy in an otherwise suffering individual.
McClintock on Renting Studio Space at AmFab: “I Felt Like I Hit the Jackpot”
McClintock spends a decent amount of each winter season in the Caribbean—soaking up the sea and the magical world that lies beneath it. Her time spent there serves as inspiration for her artwork—which she then creates in her studio space at the American Fabrics Arts Building.
She describes her excitement upon discovering a building filled with studio space for artists just like her in Bridgeport, CT. The artist had been searching far and wide for studio space for about a year when she finally found AmFab, “I felt like I hit the jackpot when I found this place…” she shared. “It’s clean, well-lit, safe, and affordable.”
McClintock goes on to demonstrate an excellent point about how before the age of social media, artists would mostly approach gallery owners with their artwork. This process has since changed. Today, gallery owners and art buyers prefer to discover artists via digital and social medias. This makes it imperative for an artist to be discoverable on the internet and various social platforms. McClintock agrees that renting studio space is truly worth every penny. Her studio at AmFab allows her to channel her creative spirit with reckless abandon. She shares that she is constantly inspired by the creative energies of the other artists in the building, and how they help feed her creative mind and increase her drive to reach her artistic goals.
Career Outlook & Some Advice for Aspiring Artists
Currently, the ideal professional situation for McClintock’s artistic career would be getting commissioned to complete a series of paintings with free range. As her career continues to evolve, she sees her artwork being even more consistent than it is now in terms of style and subject matter. She aspires to fine tune the balance between what she loves to paint and what people love to collect. “That’s where it would be going naturally”, she explains.
Carole describes that pursuing the artist’s lifestyle is not always an easy journey, but it’s an incredibly fulfilling experience. The saying “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life” certainly rings true for this talented painter. She’s truly in her profession for the love of it. Being paid for creating something that she truly loves is when she feels most lucky and blessed to have chosen this career path.
When asked if she had any advice for aspiring artists, McClintock explained how, if you’re lucky, the apprehension of what others think of you as an artist begins to dissipate with time and experience. She continues with confidence,
“It takes a lot of guts to go down the artist’s lifestyle – but when it’s successful it’s totally worth it, totally fulfilling – well worth the risk.”
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