Carrie Schmitt

Carrie has overcome extraordinary challenges in her path to becoming the  artist she is today. Her work is vibrant, fluid and full of energy- just what we need for the cover of issue two! Find out more about Carrie below.

Can you tell us about how and when you started creating art?

 

I began painting in 2009 after developing a life threatening allergy to heat. I was allergic to my own body heat, as well as the high summer temperatures outside. Bedridden for months, I was depressed and contemplating suicide. One day, a voice popped in my head and said, “Now that your life is over, you might as well do what you want and paint.”

 

Thankfully, I listened. I ordered art supplies and began teaching myself how to paint in bed. Painting became a therapeutic practice and an act of tenderness amidst the darkness.

 

With time there was healing and the birth of my life as an artist.

 

 How has your style changed over time?

 

My style continues to evolve as I grow. When I began painting, I did not know who I was as a person and artist. Through a lot of listening and reflection facilitated through creativity, I have been on a journey of coming home to myself. What has developed over time is a complete surrender and faith in the creative process. As I become more open and receptive to the creative force that exists in us and surrounds us at all times, my art has new depth and significance to me. I am able to manifest my spirit in its expression of joy, sensuality, wildness, and longing. I like to think a more soulful quality exists in my art as I surrender myself to the process and let the painting be what it wants to be rather than trying to control the outcome.

 

 What has been your biggest achievement regarding your work?

 

My biggest achievement has been not giving up and having persistence and faith. It has been listening to my heart and letting it guide my decision making. It has been consciously choosing to make my life as an artist a spiritual journey first and foremost. There have been many rewarding moments that include licensing my art with companies I admire, such as Hallmark and Woodmansterne. Highlights have been publishing a book, Painted Blossoms: Creating Expressive Flower Art with Mixed Media. My book publisher, North Light Books, and Liquitex Paint recently made a video documentary about my art that felt like a culmination of my relentless commitment to my art.  More than anything, I am proud of the person I am becoming along this journey.

 

 Who or what inspires you?

 

My ancestors and family inspire me endlessly. I feel connected to their love and stories. I feel their support at all times. This past year I began A Single Rose Project in honor of my grandparents. My grandfather used to give my grandmother a rose every month so that she could enjoy her favorite flower all year. While going through some personal heartache last year, I began giving a rose away every day to a stranger for a year. The strangers I have connected with through the roses inspire me as well. They have taught me that we all share a divine oneness, that we belong to each other. That we are each other’s living angels and that we are meant to bless each other.

 

 Can you tell us a bit more about your piece, ‘Guardians’ that is on our front cover for issue two?

 

I painted Guardians while going through a painful breakup with a man I was dating who was exhibiting unstable behaviour. One night, I was not feeling safe and could not sleep. I stayed up all night painting in my studio. This large painting felt protective as I worked on it, as though it were standing guard for me, being a quiet witness and never leaving my side. I felt a loving closeness with it, as it comforted me in my fear and sorrow. It seemed to be telling me that everything was going to be okay. That I was safe. That is why I named it Guardians.

You can see more of Carrie’s amazing artwork here.

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