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Carol Thompson’s art career began as a child in Wisconsin where she sketched her surroundings, entered local art contests, did artwork for school publications and dreamed of one day becoming a “famous artist”.  It was not until 1971, after being married and having a family, that she ventured into watercolor and oil painting.  At this time, she began studying and experimenting with these media and with various subjects to include landscapes, marinescapes, portraits, florals, and still-lifes, using realistic, semi-abstract, and impressionistic styles. 

While spending several years observing the Northwest beaches, Carol Thompson developed a fascination for the sea.  Early in 1978, all of her efforts became dedicated to this one subject.  The ocean had become a part of her soul.  She became adept at conveying the illusion of light, depth, and movement on canvas.  “I paint as realistically as I can”, she says, “using a variety of strokes and tools, from smooth brushwork in the sky to heavy palette knife on the rocks. Manipulating light, middle and dark values in the translucent areas, and blending color with a soft brush, gives the effect of light shining through the waves.  I use light against dark, warm against cool, and soft and hard edges to heighten the dramatic effect of waves, rocks, sky, and smooth waters”.  Carol Thompson’s realistic interpretations of the Pacific Coast are the product of her dedication to the sea.  Carol spends a great deal of time observing the ocean;  studying first-hand the rolling swells, floating foam, and translucent breaking waves.  She then translates these fleeting moments onto canvas, amplifying detail and colors of the moody and mysterious sea. 

As she spent more time at the beach, kites began to appear.  It was inevitable that the kites would become a part of her paintings.  In 1986, after flying kites with the family for many years, Carol created a painting of stunt kites with the ocean in the background;  her husband flying and her two teenage sons observing. Since then she has become an avid kite flyer, flying many popular stunt kites and including them in her paintings.  Her work has met with approval from the kite community, where top kite makers and flyers have accepted her as a knowledgeable kite flying artist.  If Carol isn’t in her loft painting, you will most likely find her on the beach observing or flying kites.  As with the ocean, kiting has become a part of her soul. 

Lighthouses are the guardians of the sea.  They have guided sailors safely home for generations.  Many a ship has been saved by the beacon piercing the darkness to warn the weary mariner of impending danger.  The brave and tireless dedication of the lighthouse keepers kept the light operating through fair and foul weather.  Today, lighthouses are automated, adding more dependability and eliminating the once adventurous keep.  For the observer from the shore, the lighthouse offers beauty and romance.  Legends abound of haunted lighthouses, exploits of keeps, and lighthouses being swept away by great storms.  Carol Thompson captures on canvas the emotion and majesty of lighthouses.  This is her way of preserving these historic buildings for posterity.  By publishing her work, more people can share in the beauty of each lighthouse she chooses to paint. 

As she spends more time observing the sea, she has been incorporating more of its surroundings into her paintings.  Seabirds, mostly seagulls, appear in her work.  Tug boats, a beached buoy, a little girl on the beach, and a fishing float have all been focal points in her paintings. 

Carol Thompson is also a gardener.  Her garden is her getaway, a place to clear her mind, to daydream, a place to get in touch with nature, a place to think, plan, and just relax.  She has created a selection of watercolor paintings titled “Carol’s Garden” that are inspired by the many hours of pleasure received from working the rich soil, nurturing the seedlings, and admiring the fragrant blossoms. 

The giclée printing process now used by Carol Thompson, affords a flexibility never before available and gives her much more control over the end result.  After her artwork is digitized, Carol personally corrects the color, eliminates imperfections, and makes any other required adjustments to the digitized image, using state-of-the-art software.  These prints have a higher apparent resolution than lithographs and the color range is far greater than a serigraph.  An image can be printed on demand, in a variety of sizes, on different high quality substrates.  Most of the printing is completed in-house, on high resolution ink jet printers (thereby the name giclée - to spray forcefully).  Depending on the printer, the life span of the inks vary from about 17 to 24 years, however, if framed properly (UV protection glass) and not placed in direct sunlight or under fluorescent lights, these prints will last indefinitely. 

Investment can be a consideration in the purchase of Carol Thompson’s artwork.  She has been included in the “Contemporary Western Artists” book, which recognizes her work as investment quality.  She has been honored with feature articles in “Southwest Art” and “Stepping Out” magazines.  Her original oil paintings and limited edition prints are in private collections throughout the world. 

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©2002 Carol Thompson