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Carol Quinn: A Shining Light

Folsom resident Carol Quinn immersed herself in art throughout childhood and into college—securing her first gallery representation in Mendocino in her early 20s. After taking a hiatus to raise a family, she reignited her passion for painting in 2004 and hasn’t looked back. For the past 10 years, she’s served as a board member for the Folsom Arts Association and watched the organization grow from 10 members to nearly 200. Having had instruction from notable artists such as Anita Wolff, Kathleen Dunphy, Mike Bagdonas, Ned Mueller, and Craig Nelson, Quinn has increased her skillset and produces light-filled oil paintings of impressionistic California landscapes that elicit feelings of peace, familiarity, and wonder. “I believe art is vital because it provides a connection to all goals are to be always learning and challenging myself.” 

HLB: When did you first consider yourself to be an artist?

CQ: I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t excited about making art. One of my earliest memories was in kindergarten—standing in front of an easel with a large piece of paper and pots of paint below. Since I was shy, I truly was happiest when I could express myself through art. Even my kindergarten report card stated, “We tried to introduce Carol to numbers, but she would rather paint.” That still holds true today!

HLB: You’re a founding member of Sutter Street Artists. How did the group first develop? 

CQ: Sutter Street Artists began when Wayne and Barbara Procissi, owners of the former Wine Gallery on Sutter Street, offered a group of us the opportunity to show our work in their tasting room back in September 2008. We had to put Sutter Street Artists together quickly since we wanted to have everything in place by the next month. I would liken the experience to the kids in Our Gang; instead of let’s put on a show, it was let’s open an art gallery. Everyone pitched in. Today, Sutter Street Artists is still going strong inside the same space—now known as the Bag Lady Boutique.

HLB: Where do you seek inspiration? 

CQ: My springboard for inspiration is always landscapes. Because of the quality of light in California, we get some strong light and shadow patterns, which always attract my attention first. Being in relative close proximity to the Sierra, Yosemite, the Gold Country, and the coast provides me endless inspiration. I’m obsessed with capturing the glow of light on a landscape. To me, that is the essence of the painting and collectors often remark on that characteristic. In a rushed and chaotic world, my paintings are an emotional gift to the viewer…inviting them into an oasis of calm and awe-inspiring nature. I hope people feel like they have entered the scene.

by Heather L. Becker

Art Beat:

THROUGH SEPTEMBER 16 – Folsom Arts Association Membership Show. Head to the Bank of America Gallery at the Harris Center to view a variety of work (watercolor, acrylic, oil, pastel, collage, photography, ceramics, and more) by some of the area’s most talented artists. Admission is free, and gallery hours are from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and one hour before and during intermission of Harris Center shows. 916-608-6846