The What is Painting? Project: Featuring Carole Freeman

What is Painting? Norbert Marszalek

I thought it would be intriguing to ask painters this simple yet complex question. This query comes with no ground rules—it’s up to each individual artist to find their own approach and direction.

This project will be an ongoing exploration … let’s see where it takes us.

What is Painting?
Featuring Carole Freeman

Painting is:
1. magic
2. the creation of something that never existed before
3. exploration
4. an adventure
5. a leap into the unknown
6. a brave act
7. discovery, self-discovery
8. a language
9. the creation of a flat surface covered with colour in a certain order
10. letting go
11. not knowing what you’re doing and being ok with it
12. a miracle
13. the creation of problems and the search for solutions
14. an obsession
15. a surprise
16. an imitation
17. not an imitation – something unto itself
18. a way to forget
19. a way to remember
20. fiddling about
21. space, light, form, volume, movement, texture, colour
22. intuitive
23. a bunch of wrongs that make a right
24. visual poetry
25. a mess cleaned up
26. joy, passion, drive
27. patience, good will, faith
28. the mixing of colour 30 – 60% of the time
29. chaos
30. finding clarity in chaos
31. a process
32. transformation
33. instinctual
34. an artifice that looks plausible
35. representation, whether abstract or figurative
36. frustrating and challenging
37. a visual journal
38. an illusion
39. a step towards something else
40. the confrontation of fear
41. hands, imagination, heart, and brain working together
42. thought in marks
43. tiring
44. complex
45. easy, sometimes
46. the sound of brushes, knives, rags, hands, fingers on a surface
47. hopeful
48. the sexy feel and smell of paint
49. sublime
50. decision-making
51. sitting, looking, and thinking for stretches of time
52. a 24/7 job
53. curiosity
54. fun
55. hard work
56. the suspension of time
57. a fight with failure
58. failures that get better
59. life
60. unexplainable

The Fairs: AllDressed UpCarole Freeman, The Fairs: All Dressed Up (study); Series: Dear Art World, acrylic on mylar, 17 x 11 inches

Carole Freeman, a Toronto-based American / Canadian painter, is an observer of life and people with an art practice rooted in a memoir genre and things she finds compelling – situations, moments, character, family, friends, strangers, and the world of art, both historical and contemporary. Freeman’s subject matter combines clinical study, empathy, humour, and ironic juxtaposition as an approach to narrative image making and portraiture. Stylistically lying somewhere between drawing and painting, her surfaces are replete with abstract brush marks, accidents, and varying paint thickness characteristic of gestural painting. Representations, in both small and large-scale series, are rendered from memory, imagination, life (sometimes unbeknownst to those being drawn), and a mashing of found and personal photographs. Her most recent series are The Green Couch, Dear Art World, and Portraits of Facebook.

Freeman has exhibited paintings, drawings, prints, monotypes, and mixed media works at art fairs and in solo and group exhibitions in Toronto, Winnipeg, London, New York, and Los Angeles. Group exhibitions have included artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Nancy Graves, Pat Steir, Elizabeth Peyton, Picasso, Matisse, Lautrec, Klimt, and David Hockney. Freeman’s practice also includes private and editorial commissions. Her work and exhibitions have been highlighted in The Globe and Mail, The National Post, and Now Magazine as well as blogs and art news sites such as Akimbo Art and Tech Blog, ArtDaily Newsletter, ArtSlant, Berkshire News, Los Angeles Magazine, Visual Art Source, and Artsy.

Freeman’s celebrity portraits have been a popular feature during The Toronto International Film Festival. Her solo exhibition, Portraits of Facebook, opened by the Director of Facebook Canada, featured a Portrait Painting Party, with the participation of FB executive and the general public. Freeman presented and discussed her work on the panel Making Art in the Age of New Media for The Canadian Arts Summit, a national leadership forum that yearly brings together the chief executives, artistic directors, and board chairs of Canada’s largest 50 not-for-profit cultural institutions.

Freeman graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours from the University of Manitoba and a Master of Arts from the School of Painting, Royal College of Art, London, England, which included a residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris, France. She is the recipient of many awards, including Canada Council grants, with work represented in private and public collections in Canada, U.S.A., England, Italy, Ireland, and Australia.

The What Is Painting? Project – More Featured Artists