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The Arts in Folsom: Allison Carlos, Movement Matters

Interested in the intricacies and magnificence of the human form, Allison Carlos started her career in the life sciences, yet her passion for creating often led her back to painting. Throughout her studio training and art history studies, Carlos found her niche: bold, colorful, large-format work in abstract or impressionist style. “I discovered how the unique characteristics of various paint media and deliberate use of color allow for deep expression and project the God-inspired beauty of everyday subject matter and thoughts of the soul.” The Folsom-based artist is currently pursuing her Master of Divinity at Duke University, to further develop her depth of knowledge and language around faith.

HLB: What significance does the human form hold? 

AC: The human form is a fully contained object that performs with endless creative character for an artist to capture. For example, one person sitting and looking up to the sky is projecting a unique scene to be painted that cannot be replicated by another artist. Even if they sit in the same spot and look to the sky, the essence of the person cannot be the same. People engaging in their everyday lives are always interesting to capture.  

HLB: What else inspires you? 

AC: I’m inspired by the sheer process of creativity, the physical engagement with the materials, and the manipulation to create form, colors, and design that I hope [people] experience emotively when they look at my work. This is so much a factor in my approach to creating art that most times the subject doesn’t really matter. Frequently, my source material for creating work is not about an item or a scene; rather, it can be the observation of an interesting color pattern on the ground as I’m walking around town, a blurred vision, or even a bad photo.

HLB: What are some of your influences? 

AC: Most of my biggest influences have happened in the small spaces of ordinary life [while] interacting with other people. [One] significant moment was when I [realized] I have a particular style, which is like a fingerprint, and no one can paint exactly like another painter. It’s also always a delight when a person expresses how they experience a particular painting [of mine] and what they describe is exactly what I was experiencing when I painted the piece. There are times when an artist has new discoveries in their work, and there’s an incredible satisfaction that goes along with that.

HLB: Do you have any advice on how to overcome artistic struggles? 

AC: Like most activities and pursuits in life, developing as an artist requires commitment of time, training, practice, and a belief in what you know about yourself. In my experience, I’m never as good or as bad an artist as I think I am. I find I always have something to teach and something to learn. [In other words], believe in what you can do with all humility.

By Heather Becker