|Carole in her studio at Hunter's Point|
AG - I've noticed that the native environment of an artist often leaves the strongest visual imprint. Where did you grow up and how do you see this primary environment affecting your work?
CM - Ah, that's always a tricky question to answer. I grew up an Air Force brat, but spent the longest part of my childhood in coastal New Hampshire. The beauty of the coastline and the constant access to water have inspired the ongoing water themes in my work. More than where I grew up, I've been influenced by places I've traveled. I was a high school exchange student in Japan and also in Mexico.
AG - How did you first come to doing art? Was it ever a hobby or part-time passion before you went full-time?
|In Hot Pursuit, Acrylic on canvas|
AG - What other jobs have you done?
CM - I had my first job at eight, a paper route. I started working again at thirteen busing tables. Since then I've organized nonprofits and telephone fundraising campaigns for SaneFreeze, managed political offices in Western Massachusetts, led huge peace walks, waited tables, and for the past 17 years I've been a massage therapist in private practice as well as having taught massage at the National Holistic Institute. I'm currently the president of the Artists Guild of San Francisco.
AG - When did you commit to doing art full-time?
CM - After my son turned three, about five years ago, I joined the Artists Guild to become a full-time painter. Since I already had a full-time massage practice, I've actually got two full-time jobs. Life is full!
AG - Many people have described the move to being a full-time artist as a "leap of faith". How did this transition affect you?
|Refuge, Acrylic on canvas|
CM - For me, it was more about embracing the possibility of becoming a professional artist. I began treating my work as a viable career. Artists these days have to know how to run all aspects of a career (marketing, promotion, website design) and at the same time develop a daily studio practice. It was very exciting to finally do this. It had been a lifelong dream that I hadn't believed could be an option for me.
AG - Did your family support you in your artistic passion? How has the support, or lack thereof, affected your artistic direction?
CM - My family has always loved my artistic leanings, but were very clear that "artists don't make a living." They did support my talent by sending me to art classes when I was young. My great-grandmother was a painter and the family has always been very proud of her. I received her easel and supplies when she died. I use it to this day.
AG - Describe a day in the life. What studio hours do you keep and how do you balance other demands in your life?
|After All These Years |
the Sound of Your Voice Still Thrills Me
Acrylic on canvas
AG - Art making is intrinsically a domain of much uncertainty. Artists tend to be adventurous people. Have you taken big risks in other areas of your life? Tell me a wild story about yourself!
CM - Well, I took off to Japan and Mexico on my own in high school. New Hampshire, at the time, was a bit of a one-note place, culturally. These trips influenced my artistic aesthetic (especially Japan) to this day. I also love to go rock climbing, water skiing, and snow skiing. I like to go fast! Adrenaline is fun for me. I'm looking forward to doing all of these things more with my son as he gets bigger.