Karolyn Farrell: Teacher and Artist

NOAPS Karolyn Farrell On Location - Tuscny Chapel Garden  “On Location – Tuscany Chapel Garden”, 12×9, Oil, Juried into the 2017 NOAPS Best of America Exhibit

The warm Italian sunshine is shining through to the viewer in Karolyn Farrell’s plein air painting.  The rich, bold colors and textural brushwork bring life to the painting, while the story tells of a quiet village.  This contrast is what engages the viewer; we are thrilled by the artist’s hand, yet comfortable with the quiet.

NOAPS red hibiscus 9x12farrell-red-flowers-cc-canv  “Red Hibiscus”, 9×12, Oil on Canvas, Collection of the Artist

Karolyn Farrell has been an artist all her life.  Like many artists, she began drawing and painting at an early age, but chose a career path in education for her vocation.  She holds a degree in art, and her post-graduate work includes a Master’s Degree and Education Specialist in adult education, with an emphasis on creativity in the Older Adult.  She taught art at Indian Head, MD and in Kansas City, MO, and was a middle school consultant in science and art.  Most recently she has retired as Director of the Fayetteville School District’s Adult and Community Education Program.  Karolyn always continued her artwork, however, and can now devote more time to the pursuit of catching the light in paint.

NOAPS Blue Vase with Oranges Farrell 16x20Blue-Vase-with-Carnation  “Blue Vase with Oranges”, 16×20, Oil on Canvas, Collection of the Artist

Karolyn’s upbeat personality shines through in all her paintings; she mainly works en plein air, and enjoys viewing the sunrises, sunsets, light and shadow,  the changing seasons and buildings from past eras.  Museums and work by other artists inspire her; Old Master favorites include Rembrandt, Henri, Zorn, Sorolla, Degas and Sargent.  Her contemporary favorites are works by Schmid, Handell, McGraw, Sacran, Schneider, T. Williams, Legg, and R.A. Johnson.

NOAPS Peonies in Glass 16x20Peonies-MKP-Final  “Peonies in Glass”, 16×20, Oil on Board, Private Collection

A day in the studio starts with “quiet mindfulness; maybe prayer and observing the changing scenes of the flora, fauna and sky outside the windows.” She mainly works from life, often starting with thumbnails and visualization of the design and composition.  She first applies a wash of turpenoid or gamsol with transparent oxide red and viridian or ultramarine blue and umber, using a paper towel to create the texture and then wiping out the highlights.  She starts with thin layers of paint and builds up the center of interest and design using progressively thicker applications of paint.  Her palette for studio work includes Naples Yellow Light, Yellow Ochre, Terra Rosa, Cadmium Yellow deep, Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Red Light, Phalo Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Ivory black, Alizarin Crimson, Transparent Oxide Red, and Titanium White.  She paints on linen canvas or panels, birch panels and Inner Glow panels (made of specially treated wood).  Brushes include sable, and synthetic and natural bristle brushes.

NOAPS farrell thumbnail_Antique Vase - Karolyn Farrell  “Chinese Vase with Fruit”, 14×16, Oil on Canvas, Collection of the Artist

Karolyn has enjoyed much success with her art; she was featured in a volume of Professional artists, “Artists as World Changers” 2011 and the book “Vision, Passion, and Purpose” for her work with art groups, teaching, grant writing and fundraising for needy juvenile groups.  She was also included in a documentary “Bridging the Gap” which focused on her work with intergenerational art activities.

Karolyn encourages emerging artists to “paint for yourself, for your own development; do not care about approval of others  Standards set within ourselves may be extremely liberating and energizing.”

Karolyn Farrell is represented by DB Gallery and Design, Springfield, MO; Scott’s Images, Lowell, AR; Art Ventures, Fayetteville, AR; Farrell Studio & Gallery, Fayetteville, AR.  To view more of her work, visit her website at http://www.karolynfarrellart.com.

To view more work in the NOAPS Best of America Exhibit visit http://www.noaps.org/exhibitions or visit Facebook or Instagram (Natoilandacrylicsociety).

Written by Patricia Tribastone, NOAPS Blog Director

















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