Carol Price Surface
Beverly Hills, California, USA
Mediums: Watercolor, Printmaking, Acrylic, Mixed-Media Wall Sculptures
Style: Abstract Expressionism with figuration
Redemption One © Carol Surface
This was inspired by billboards and postings in which people are reaching out, trying to get noticed. One of my themes is patterns of behavior and I use sewing patterns (I’ve been designing and sewing clothes since I was 11) to represent that theme. They emerged in this piece along with text inspired by lyrics to one of my favorite songs.
I find the human spirit and all its glorious, mysterious layers to be the most fascinating thing on earth. I love digging and scraping to find what’s really going on underneath the surface – in others and myself. So I recreate that feeling in my work to produce art that will inspire people towards meaning and beauty on their own journey of self-exploration.
Do you have any remembrance of creating art as a child?
As a child I was always drawing and making anything and everything beautiful. When I was in the first grade I won an art contest and my parents sent me to Lochhaven Art Center in Winter Park, FL, which today remains a prestigious art institution. Beauty continues to be the top priority in my art.
What music do you listen to when making art?
When I make my art I am rockin’ and singing away to a number of alternative pop rock musicians. My favorite is a British band called James… the lead singer’s exquisite lyrics have freely found their way into many of my paintings and when I finally met him at a concert in 2008 I told him, “You’re in every piece of art I’ve ever made.” He was blown away.
Is there a message you would others to perceive when viewing your art?
I want to raise consciousness in a beautiful way, to raise awareness that life is a beautiful, colorful dance of revealing and concealing what we think, say and do in any given moment. It’s all about listening to oneself and others and then making your mark when the time is right.
Getting There Violet © Carol Surface
This is one in a series known as The Compass Paintings. The concept is that our inner compass, or core, will always guide us to the light, but depending on how we’re feeling, or which of our energy centers, or Chakras, is dominating, our path may be more clearly visible or more obscured. This is the highest one in the series and represents the crown Chakra, which is closer to the light.
Can you summarize your creative process?
I have a concept of what I want to say but no concrete idea of what the piece will look like. I choose my materials and just start making marks and putting paint on the surface, whatever it may be. All the while I am guiding and coaxing whatever images are emerging. This can be a short process or a very long one, but I don’t stop until the piece feels whole.
In nature, the beautiful colors and life all around me. In the urban landscape, the intricate patterns of the old and new layers revealing themselves in billboards. I am also fascinated with the methods people use to connect with one another and am inspired by urban postings, especially the ones that say “Post No Bills.”
Solo exhibitions at 626 Gallery and Palos Verdes Art Center, Los Angeles. Brand Library Art Gallery, Lankersheim Art Center, Kamchatka Museum, Russia and many others.
Have you been selling your art?
I have been selling my work since 1984 and have countless private and corporate collectors, including the late Ray Bradbury and the actors Daniel Stern and Susan Sullivan. I sold at outdoor festivals for many years and now to private collectors through dealers, galleries and studio visits.
Internet art promotion:
My website, of course, and on Fine Art America, International Watercolors.com and a few other sites. I also send out notices of new pieces to my email list, put works on Facebook and Twitter.
Way Paver 71 (Commemoration) © Carol Surface
Because I work from my subconscious mind, I often have to stop work on a piece because I don’t understand it or don’t know what it’s trying to say. The underpainting of this piece languished for many years before I recommenced work on it and enabled it to “grow up.” It became number seventy-one in a series in which I use the different stages of sidewalks as a metaphor for the human condition.
My influences come from observation of myself and others. I try not to study other artist’s work because I can unconsciously become a sponge. I’ve often been compared to Robert Rauschenberg. I believe that the best stuff comes from within and I strive to help it come out in my work. For twenty years I have taught other painters to do the same and they continue to be amazed to discover the depths of beauty they can create from their imaginations.
Can you recommend another artist to us?
Melissa Herrington of Venice, CA is my former studio neighbor and her work is exquisite. She uses figuration within neutrally-colored, gently-flowing layers. I don’t know what her icons mean but the work is very powerful and I love it.
Can you tell us something interesting from your life?
Nearly twenty years ago an astrologer discovered a specific configuration in my birth chart. She told me that 90% of the people who have the configuration are listed in Who’s Who. A couple of years later Who’s Who contacted me and told me they were listing me in Who’s Who in America. They’ve since included me in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who of American Women and Who’s Who in Education.
What is the most annoying thing a person has said about your art?
Once while I was sitting at my watercolor-filled booth in an outdoor art festival a grouchy lady walked by and said with disgust, “Watercolors! I wouldn’t have one in my house!”
Do you have regrets in your artist career?
No. I believe that every decision I make is exactly what was appropriate at the time.
Any plans for the future?
I am creating a series that I intend to put in reproductions and sell to stores. It is beautiful and charming will speak to a wide audience.
Advice for Artists
Paint what you feel. There is only one you and that’s what needs to come out in your work. Study, study, study and work, work, work. It will show.
Carol Price Surface – Endless Layers of Life
Beverly Hills, California, USA