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Posted: October 16, 2021

The creative journey of Carol Gordon

Columbia Valley artist Carol Gordon recently addressed (via video) the Columbia Valley Arts Council, outlaying a lifetime of artistic journey.

The following is a transcript of Carol’s talk, relating to her current Pynelogs Cultural Centre gallery show ‘The Creative Journey of Carol Gordon. The show runs until October 30.

I feel humbled and very appreciative for the opportunity to have a solo exhibit at Pynelogs in October this year.  It is truly a celebration for me as I turn 75 later in the month.

This beautiful building has been quite dear to my heart from its beginnings as a Cultural Centre in 1990, where  I have been fortunate to exhibit my art over the decades.  I have also held many painting courses and workshops here as well.

As I walk through the rooms and look at my exhibit of nearly 100 pieces, I am aware that I am seeing my creative journey laid out before me and the artwork which emerged out of that journey.  My curiosity, emotions and intuition have always taken the lead and as I view my artwork that has been created over the decades, I am left with a feeling of awe and joy at what my inner world has nudged me to produce.

I was raised in a Hollywood film making family and that naturally has had a major influence on me.  The creative process was the soil I grew up in although it led me in a very different direction from my parents and siblings.

The uneasy experiences I was having within the social environments I experienced while growing up, guided me to seek a creative outlet of my own and I took up the lifelong interests of journaling at age 10 to express my thoughts and feelings in words and photography at age 15 to capture the “moment” on film.

“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still…Art is a by-product of an act of total attention. Pick a theme and work it to exhaustion…the subject must be something you truly love or truly hate.” – Dorothy Lang, photographer

In my early 20s I immigrated to Canada.  I was nudged by my Banff School of Fine Arts Photography (now The Banff Centre) teacher/Photography Department head my first summer in Canada, 1970, to pursue a career in Journalism and I did, sporadically that is.  It also helped me to add the professional writing element to my life.

In my late 20s I began painting with watercolours to find creative expression visually for my emotional realm.

Just as my creative process drew me to paint and photograph, I have also been drawn to seek out creative people and experiences that inspire me.  My influences have included all my photography and painting mentors beginning with Mrs. Lois Vinette in high school; Robert Alexander at the Banff School of Fine Arts, now the Banff Centre;  and Bruce Brown, Painting Department Head, at The Vancouver School of Art, now Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

These are some of the artists who I have been inspired and influenced by:  

Photographers include: Julia Margaret Cameron, Margaret Bourke-White, Dorthea Lang, Edward Steichen and his “Family of Man” book.

Writers include:  Anais Nin, Simone de Beauvoir and Luanne Armstrong (Boswell, BC).

Painters and multi-dimensional Artists include:  Paul Klee, Judy Chicago, Edvard Munch, Georgia O’Keeffe, Picasso, Rodin, Frida Kahlo, Vincent Van Gogh among many others.

Film makers include:  Fellini, Lina Wertmuller and Ken Burns.

I continue to be deeply impacted by their profound and honest imagery and their courage.

When asked is there a certain theme or message I hope to give the viewer of my paintings, it is this

“The picture is not thought out and fixed in advance: while it is being made it follows the mobility of one’s thoughts.  When it is finished, it changes even more, according to the state of the person looking at it.  A picture lives its own life, like a living creature; it undergoes the changes that daily life imposed on us.  This is natural enough, since a picture lives only through him (her) who looks at it” – Picasso, 1935

Like the seasons, emotions and thoughts are an element of nature: they fluctuate and are changeable.  My watercolour paintings are created out of that realm seeking balance and inner peace.

“Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye…it also includes the inner pictures of the soul.”  – Edvard Munch

“Art does not reproduce what we see; rather it makes us see.” – Paul Klee

The October 8 live talk.

For a closer look at the artwork in this exhibit.  For purchasing information, click on the images.

Carol’s website.

Carol’s Facebook page.


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