Carol Tarboton


Carol grew up in a rural village in the Drakensberg mountains of South Africa, and attributes her interest in faces and landscapes to the vibrant diversity she observed there. She showed an early interest in drawing and painting, and has fond memories of receiving guidance from her artistic father and maternal grandmother. She took art as a subject at high school, and sold her first painting during this time. While training to become a health professional, she illustrated a preschool textbook and tutored children on drawing for pocket money. She continued to draw and paint in her spare time, accepting commissions for wedding couples, children and pets. She exhibited some of her work at the Greenhithe Art and Photography Event in 2020. After enjoying a busy 20-year career caring for people and teaching in hospitals in South Africa, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, Carol decided to make art her full-time vocation. She now resides in Ōakura with her partner, where she can often be found painting on the beach. She loves meeting new people and working with clients on unique commission pieces that will bring them joy. Teaching others some of the skills and tips she has learned along the way is another passion of hers.

“I am always finding inspiration for my next artwork, whether observing humans, nature, or the waves crashing on the beach. My diverse choice of subject matter extends to manmade articles too, particularly motorbikes, where I can't walk past without capturing shots of the visible intricate mechanical parts to use as a reference later. While I start an artwork with a general idea of what I want to portray, once I get into the flow of drawing or painting, unanticipated effects and new ideas can emerge, and I play with them until I feel satisfied with the eventual result. Whether using charcoal or water-soluble oils, I work in layers, sculpting the subject to help me feel my way, while also creating depth. This can be a time-consuming process, but it is very important to me to feel satisfied with the quality of the final piece. I would describe my style as one that oscillates between realism and impressionism. I am interested in including the level of detail required to make the subject recognisable, but more than this, I want to capture the essence, a fleeting moment, a movement, the light, and to convey a mood. I may leave attractive brushstrokes or splattered charcoal backgrounds as a telling sign that this is indeed an impression, my impression, of what I see. We are too often reminded of the harsh realities in the world, I like to be able to focus on what is good and beautiful in the everyday faces and natural world I see, and emphasise these aspects in my work. My hope is that the viewer can see the beauty too and be positively impacted by the experience.”

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