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An Interview with Artist Carol Finkbeiner Thomas

Carol Finkbeiner Thomas paints beautiful, abstracted Landscapes and also figurative and floral work. Using primarily oil paints, Carol works her magic on canvas; her work consists of exquisite tones, textures, and composition and evokes both mood and atmosphere. The rich colours, brush strokes and style is captivating.

You can view Carol’s work on her website:

Follow her on Instagram

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a medium sized town in Southern Ontario, just north of the City of Toronto but my most defining moments were spent in rural areas visiting farms and Northern Ontario cottage country. Fields, forests and lakes were the places I felt the most connected as a child. This still holds true today.

What inspired you to become an artist?

I don’t actually remember a time when I wasn’t immersed in drawing and creating. This natural impulse was present early in my childhood, and although I had no specific artistic mentor in my family, I was very fortunate to have their unconditional encouragement. I was given personal freedom to find and define my inspiration. Now inspiration is provided by connecting with like minded people.

How do you find the locations that you paint?

I find locations to paint and landscapes that inspire me everywhere. I have been fortunate to be able to travel to areas with spectacular landscapes but for the most part, I try to keep my painting locations local. I will take reference photographs for future studio use but I also paint from memory or imagination.

Why do you paint landscapes?

I am often more interested in the marks on the canvas than I am in an accurate reflection of a scene, and landscapes have proven to be a perfectly forgiving subject suitable for that kind of exploration. I am interested in combining marks to create the illusion of space and imagery without being overly detailed. The feeling of a place is more important than the correctness of a place and I try to deliver that feeling. I love it when bits of paint can be combined to create the illusion of space or stand in for something real. I am sentimental for landscapes, both common and monumental. On a drive through the countryside, I can be completely inspired by a grassy ditch.

How do you promote your work?

Though I have been painting and drawing all of my life I really only came to it seriously less than ten years ago. I have been exhibiting and selling my work for a few years and have been very fortunate to have people who have encouraged and supported my work both personally and professionally. Beyond a local annual open studio tour, social media has provided this introvert an opportunity to connect with artists and art lovers locally and worldwide. I’ve learned that exposure is near synonymous to promotion.

Which artists inspire your work and why?

I find inspiration from so many artists who work in a wide variety of styles and media. Often it is about the approach and if I find someone who is creating honestly I am immediately inspired. I am inspired by people who are fully immersed in their work and fearless with their medium.

In what ways do you feel your personality affects your style?

I can be both cautious and impatient. I am not a perfectionist so I don’t dwell on detail. My sense of caution lives symbiotically with my impatience when I paint. I do not tend to plan but rather give free reign to my intuition. I wonder if the viewer could work backwards and determine my personality.

Please talk a bit about your work with non-traditional painting tools. What is it about working with them that you enjoy?

I enjoy using non-traditional tools when painting. I like the change in mark making that occurs when I use a roller, cloth or old bit of plastic to apply or remove paint. Making sgraffito marks with a sharp tool, applying the paint with the hands or any other random tools provide a variety of effects that can convey a sense of interest, something unexpected or something that reads true.

 Carol Finkbeiner Thomas

Carol Finkbeiner Thomas

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