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© Carol Lynn Gilchrist Shifting Shapes and Flow

Carol-Lynn Gilchrist


Artist Statement

Being immersed in the natural world, observing the quality of light and shadows, and painting en plein air continues to be my joy and inspiration. I am attracted to paint the world around me; the views of daily walks in the forest and to the river, and trips to the mountains.

My focus is on landscapes and semi-abstracted land formations in acrylics or oils. I often play with time and the memory of place to convey my emotional attachment to the land. My paintings are inspired by nature; skies and water worlds that are filled with light, colour and movement. Part real and part imagined and both aspects deeply felt and expressed with paint. My ideas emerge from inward and outward experiences in nature. They are based on direct observation, filtered through memory, and are focused by the materials and time spent at the easel. My paintings play in the intersection of what I experienced and what I saw with the invisible realm of what I felt. I explore that space between representation and abstraction.


Carol Lynn was born in Estevan, Saskatchewan, but in 1962 the family moved to Red Deer, Alberta, which is still her home today.

Although she was always drawing as a child, her first interest was in architectural design and drafting, which led to a 25 year career in community planning. In 2007 she started painting with watercolours on her summer vacations, learning from library books and the odd weekend art course. When retirement came in 2011 she pursued her art with focus, which culminated in her first solo show in 2013, titled “Nature in the City”. That same year her embossed watercolour painting called “Water” was selected in a juried art exhibition titled “Rooted in the Arts”, as part of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artists Awards.

Essentially a self-taught artist, from 2013 to 2018 she focused on en plein air style of painting and had numerous solo shows in this medium, namely “Life of a River: Maps and Landscapes”, which was shown at two galleries in Alberta. These watercolour landscapes were often described as luminous and in this sense she depicts the common scene as a sacred place – capturing the light and spirit of the landscape.

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