If you’ve seen the March issue of The Artist’s Magazine, by now you’ve probably at least browsed the entire issue, which wraps up with the Competition Spotlight–a page dedicated to finalists of the Annual Art Competition. Debra Carr’s work is featured in this issue, and I can see why. When you look at the page, you quickly get the sense that someone is watching you; that’s how personal this particular portrait painting feels. And if you don’t have your copy of the magazine handy, take a look below to see what I’m talking about.
“The subject of Ray is my brother, Raymond Carr,” says Debra. “At the time, he was living with me as he convalesced from serious back surgery. I had painted members of my family in the past, but painting Raymond turned out to be different, somehow more intense and intimate. I wanted the painting to show the complexity of his personality and how the severity of his physical situation weighed on him. In establishing these as my objectives, I got to know him in ways I couldn’t have previously. For me, portrait painting is about technique and mastery of one’s craft, but it’s also about accessing the luminosity of the transcendent moment that occurs when the spirit of the painter, the sitter, and the process come together in a visual image. That’s the moment the paint on a canvas is more than paint on canvas. It becomes art.
“After I graduated from school, financial realities led me into the world of business and, to my surprise, I functioned successfully for many years as an international negotiator. Despite the stability the financial rewards gave me, I always felt stressfully out of place in the corporate environment. Then, an unexpected illness brought my life and my choices into sharp focus. After serious consideration, I changed my career and simultaneously had the good fortune to meet the painter Paul W. McCormack. With this encounter, my education and life as a representational painter truly began.
“My career as a painter has been challenging in many ways and it comes at a cost, but it has taught me priceless life lessons: how to work through self-doubt, to be openly vulnerable, to push through the fear of judgment, and most critically, to show up every day to work knowing that in the end the only support I may receive will come from me. I’ve learned that can be enough.” ~DC
Almost every issue of The Artist’s Magazine features a Competition Spotlight (subscribe today so that you don’t miss out). It’s a special place, where we invite the artists to tell us in their own words about the work they’ve submitted that, although didn’t win a prize, still struck a chord with the editorial team. These pictures never cease to inspire. Debra’s closing paragraph in particular speaks to my beliefs as well, and I thank her for sharing them, as well as her painting and story, with all of us.