Caroline Patrick BorNei: Featured Artist
Medium: Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor
Home: Camano Island, Washington, USA
Website, combination Feng Shui and Art: http://goldmountainpublishing.com/
Caroline, thank you for taking some time out of your busy schedule to share your passions. I was captivated by your paintings of poppies, but understand there is so much more than painting those rich colors.
Everyone loves the Fire Element of Poppies. Washington state, in the Pacific Northwest of the USA, has these lovely poppies up and down the back roads.I took a picture on the way to a painting class a few weeks ago. Several of us get together and paint every week.
I like the idea of getting together for painting. What are some of the first memories you had relating to art before you could just snap a picture of poppies by the side of the road?
My first memories of doing art was when I was around 3 or 4 years old and I remember drawing on the back of my mother’s Sunday Church bulletin (or program). I remember working with oil clay to make furniture for my doll houses. And there was that time I drew with Crayola on our home walls!
Yikes, I guess that is something you don’t forget. Were you always drawn to art?
Yes, I loved the outdoors and studied nature and environment from pulling petals from flowers and seeing how they were formed to seeing perspective of buildings and all things. The brilliance of light and the beauty of darks. Seeing the vibrancy of life through color, sounds, smells, texture, memories of places and things. I feel an urgency to record things visually or from dreams and experiences.
The above picture looks as if it came straight from a dream.
I call it “The Guardians” It relates to the Heaven section of a home in the immediate far right corner of a home when coming into a house by the front door. This relates to my expertise in feng shui principles.
I can see that you take pleasure from combining your skills in both art and feng shui.
At 6 years old my father bought me a box of oil paints and found my first teacher which was a distant aunt. Later a summer time teacher and as an adult would take workshops from instructors whose work I admired. But I am mostly self taught.
On the road to being self taught, I noticed you studied the masters. Share the process you went through to make your version of the famous “Madonna.”
This is my rendition of Botticelli’s Madonna. It was a picture I admired which I completed in the old master’s way of painting in oil. The painting was done on unfinished Masonite which I cut and sanded until it was as smooth as glass. Layers of varnish were applied, then dried and sanded each time…over 10 or 12 times. Then I drew the figures and begin painting the flesh and facial features and sanding them again each layer. This way the paint builds up bit by bit giving the piece a glow. This painting took many hours and layers of the linseed oils. After drying for weeks. I added gold leaf to the background and sealed the picture. A woman from the East Coast saw it in a California gallery and flew out to see it and bought the picture. This woman is a healer and uses it to help her bring the Christ energy to her clients. I wish I hadn’t sold the painting. Some pictures can never be reproduced, but I’m happy she saw the value of its healing properties.
I understand how an artist can be happy and sad when a special work of art has been sold. Seems you have taught yourself well, because now you are a guest teacher at the Lotus Institute in Seattle, Washington, USA. www.lotusinstitute.com Wonderful how you can combine both your passions so effortlessly. I understand there is a new book on the horizon.
While traveling in China with a feng shui group, we rode almost to the top of this sacred mountain called Jiuhan Shan. I followed behind the group taking pictures of monkeys and soon found myself alone on this mountain top as the group had gone on to the top passed the Monastery. Not knowing where they had gone I became tired and decided to go back down the steep stairways to the gondola cable car and on arriving realized I didn’t have a ticket to descend to the village. A kind Chinese woman paid my way to the bottom. We could only talk with our eyes and hands, but she understood my dilemma! This is an acrylic and oil painting of the Monastery which was chosen as the cover to my book which is on Kindle.
A great book cover. What would you say to an artist who is reading this and thinking….I want to have adventures and paint, too. What would you say?
Don’t wait another minute, sign up with a teacher that resonates with you and the medium that pulls at your heart strings. Although I do all mediums such as oil, acrylic, watercolor, conte’ crayon, clay, pastels, pen and ink and all new things, as there are new products every day to explore. For instance I would rather teach someone who has never picked up a brush, in fact I love to create with sticks dipped in ink or maybe crinkle a piece of rice paper and drop watercolor or ink to see what shapes inspire me.Another big piece of advice is to treat yourself to the best watercolor paper, I use 300 lb and the more expensive paints. This is your gift to yourself as cheaper supplies will only be frustrating. Save all the ‘opps’ paintings and cut them up for a new creations.There are no mistakes!
For people who want to make a living as an artist? Paint every day or at least 3 days a week. Take advantage of all the new paints and products, get friendly with technology or find someone who loves this piece of the puzzle. Giclee or prints are the norm for sharing your work affordably, such as cards, prints, wearable art and more. Get a website or use constant contact and go on facebook and show your work to prospective buyers. Learn all you can from artists who are making it happen. Join organizations if possible. Don’t let anyone stop your dream and of course in my opinion since I am a Feng Shui professional practitioner use feng shui in the home and or your studio to support your dream!
Very inspiring, Caroline. Thanks for participating in this interview. It’s good to know we can see more and even buy some of your art on http://fineartamerica.com/artists/caroline+patrick