Drye, Carol

Growing up in midwestern Minnesota in the ’50s and ’60s, I don’t remember a time I didn’t draw. I was fascinated by the characters in the “funny papers” and once painted Little Iodine on a wall in our basement. An art teacher in high school inspired me, and my interest in art took off from there.

I spent a few years in office work and then jewelry sales before I was able to study art seriously, obtaining a B.S. degree in art education in 1969, with an 84 credit hour studio emphasis. My favorite studios were drawing, watercolor, and oil. I have fond memories of my first and last quarters at St. Cloud State College in Minnesota, when I lived with the other students and the faculty in a large lake house, having classes and constant guidance day and night from the teachers as we progressed as artists.

Between college and now, I spent a few years teaching art, and many years in sales with my husband, moving many times for business, which kept me busy with family and away from being a producing artist other than the occasional drawing or watercolor painting. Settling in Pensacola and finding a daytime sales job afforded me the opportunity to start painting in the evenings, teaching myself how to work with acrylics which had not been available when I was in art school.

I retired at age 74 and now enjoy being free to be immersed in gallery life and to interact with like-minded individuals at Blue Morning Gallery. Acrylic painting is my main emphasis now, though I still enjoy the spontaneity of watercolor. The line is very important in my work, as is color theory. I prefer illustrating thoughts, feelings, and ideas to realism, which is better done by our many talented photographers. As a Christian, I believe the definition of Christian art is that which is produced by a Christian. Often as I approach the completion of a painting, I find I have just illustrated a Biblical idea without purposely doing it, though the painting is devoid of crosses, steeples, or robed characters. Most viewers of my paintings don’t see these inner meanings, and I don’t expect them to, but I am more than willing to share them if asked.