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Sutton’s Carol Flagg Pursuing Second Career as a Painter

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Carol Flagg of Sutton is an up and coming painter and artist. It may seem strange to label her "up and coming", considering she is a recent retiree, but it makes sense, as she now has time to pursue a dream long put off and long in the making. Her interest in art began while watching her father paint as a custom design painter; her favorite subjects in school were drawing and painting. But until now, this was a largely unrequited love.

At once a mother and a businesswoman, who fulfilled her creative and meditative side when she could through various forays into arts and crafts, sewing, practicing and teaching yoga, reading and gardening, Flagg has now discovered the wonderful world of watercolor.

"I get 'lost' in the process and find it to be very meditative," says Flagg, speaking of her new found interest in the medium. "For over 35 years I have practiced yoga and, for me, painting helps me to obtain some of the same personal benefits such as finding a union between my body, mind and spirit."

Indeed she hopes, as so many creative types do, those who are lucky enough to view her art have the same reaction she does.

"I hope people get a sense of tranquility or beauty when viewing my art.  Art is in the eye of the beholder and I am so amazed and grateful that some people really do like the pieces I create," she explains. People in the Central Mass area now getting this opportunity.

Remarkably, it was just five years ago, as Flagg neared retirement, that she bought a small "learn to watercolor" kit at a local Barnes & Noble, and soon after fell in love with the medium, taking classes at the Worcester Art Museum.

"I enjoy learning new things and usually dive right in at full force," she says, and indeed she has. She is already beginning to show her work at juried and non-juried events, and will continue to do so in the future. She is also already a member of Arts Worcester, The Rhode Island Watercolor Society, The Hopkinton Center for the Arts and the Blackstone Valley Art Association.  

Why watercolor? The answer is simple for her.

"I love the ease of use, the transparency, fluidity and purity of the colors," she says. "I am amazed at the variety of work that people produce using watercolor. Some pieces seem like water itself, and are loose and flowing, and others are very precise with luminous colors."

Watercolor allows one to paint to almost anything, from the simple to the profound, the mundane to the extraordinary.

"Watercolor painting is special to me because it has opened up a new world of exploration, learning and personal expression."

What Carol chooses to paint seems like simple subject matter, usually just recreations of photographs she has taken, but they are beautiful in their simplicity. Watercolor forces one to recognize the true enormity of colors and intricacy of the designs found in the outside world, even in the most apparently mundane artificial and natural objects.

"I think my favorite subject matter is probably interesting buildings, stores and the settings around them, but I do enjoy various subject matter," Carol says.

She has developed what can be called the "artist's eye", or the ability to see anything as a possible subject that can be recreated with their own hand and a brush. In other words, anything to the true artist can be a subject of a painting. It is a creative gift not many have, and one Carol admits she wished she had earlier in life and is still developing. But, if her work so far shows us anything, there is an incredible of natural talent within her that has waited to escape.

"Since I have started painting, my visual perception has changed and I find myself 'sketching out' the contours of objects, trees, and people in my mind. I also notice the hundreds of variations of color within nature," she remarks.

To sum it all up, Carol aims for realism and not abstraction, for there is enough beauty in what is real.

"My style at the beginning was very detail oriented, but I am trying to loosen up and go with the flow more. I do paint in a realistic manner."

Carol's future in the world of watercolor is very promising, but she reminds us it is all still a process, and she is still, ultimately, a student; but so are all artists really no matter how experienced or talented. You are always learning from others.

"I love being around other people and doing art. I am still a student," she says.

Don't think she is only limited to watercolor either. She has also experimented with drawing, photography, photo editing and more. A challenge she may wish to tackle in the near future is painting a large "full sheet," or otherwise larger work. But for now she is happy with what she is doing.

"Just seeing my paintings 'develop' is so much fun," she says.

For more information on Carol Flagg, or to view her work, visit her website here.


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