One of the biggest ah-ha moments for me with art was when I was in college. After coasting through freshman year sampling classes that I was hoping would help me decide a major, I decided that I needed to take an art class to indulge my creativity. I signed up for a drawing class. It was during that semester that I decided to apply for the art program and got accepted.
Quote Pockets, sweet little handmade pockets containing inspirational quotes, $5
Where do you find inspiration?
Looking for inspiration is a huge part of my creative process. When I create my art I have no idea what the finished piece may look like, but I do set an intention to create a specific message and try to bring the positive side of life to every piece I create. There are times that I need to go out into nature and walk, taking in the natural beauty and collecting materials along my way. Other times I will go into Portsmouth, indulge myself with a cup a coffee as I people watch or read a book, and then off to a gallery or shop.
I like the Portsmouth fabric store to get ideas for patterns and colors schemes. The aisles of fabrics are pure eye candy for me, I will sometimes buy bits of fabric, but just to bring back to the studio as my sewing skills are pretty limited. When in bloom, the Strawberry Bank flowerbeds are a favorite of mine.
Peep, Mixed Media on Canvas
The customers at Lucy's love the cheerful colors and inspirational messages in your artwork. They're always saying that your work simply makes them happy. Whose artwork (books, blogs, etc) makes you happy?
I love hearing that my artwork is bringing joy and happiness to people. I feel really blessed with my life, but I do have struggles as well. I am constantly working on keeping a positive focus; right now I am reading the book Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Living Your Dreams by Mike Dooley. It is providing me with so many tidbits of insight.
On my blog (http://www.carynlynnduncan.blogspot.com/) I follow a number of other artist and their websites are available on my profile page. My top three right now are Alisa Burke (http://www.alisaburke.blogspot.com/) , Roots of She (http://www.rootsofshe.com/) , and Kelly Rae (http://www.kellyraeroberts.blogspot.com/).
Wish Books, tiny reproductions of Caryn's mixed media books, complete with a candle for making a wish, $5
What message do you like to give to your students?
I believe that everyone has creative potential. My motto is “choose to be creative.” I teach my students that their art is about choices that reflect who they are. The most important thing that I help them learn is how to develop their ideas, choose their subject material that they then work into finished pieces that reflects individuality. I am there to help refine their drawing skills and introduce new techniques too, and those skills develop with time and practice.
What are two of your favorite spots in Dover?
I have been living in Dover for just about eight years now. I love that we have a vibrant downtown with shops that support local artists, that there are a number of restaurants that will cater to my vegetarian diet, and that its location gives easy access to the seacoast or the mountains. My number one favorite spot in Dover is my art studio, when I go there it lifts my spirits and I feel absolutely connected to my creativity. My second favorite place is the Silver Moon Creperie, the crepes are the best and the atmosphere is cozy and friendly.
Caryn in her studio.