We had the good fortune of connecting with Virginia Carroll, CPSA, CPX and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Virginia, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I’m not sure I had a choice! My parents seemed to realize early on that I had somewhat of an artistic potential and encouraged that by finding art classes appropriate for my young age of 6. Those led to other classes and the development of my artistic skills to the point that anytime I had the opportunity to avail myself of instruction in those skills, I grabbed at it! It helped that I was really enamored of using those skills and creating what I considered beauty. I took art all though my high school years and majored in Fine Art in college. Even though I have taught workshops myself ,I still, to this day, take classes and workhops that I find of interest or that offer a new perspective on art. Apparently, not only do I love creating, I must love learning as well!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In my younger days, I worked in all the traditional art media, even venturing into some fiber arts which included co-writing some craft booklets on Macramé. I married and had two children and, out of necessity put my art to the side in order to take care of home life and children. Even though I wasn’t creating very much, it was constantly there in my mind as I thought of materials, subjects and processes. Then I had a career in drafting and only after I retired was I able to pick up my brushes again. The big turning point for me was the almost accidental discovery of Colored Pencil as an art medium. Once I was exposed to that and saw what colored pencils could do, I was hooked and have worked with no other media since that time. Still working in colored pencil since 2006, I experimented with the surprising multitude of materials available for use with the colored pencil to enhance my skills with that medium and have finally arrived at a technique that is the culmination of all those trials. My work now is done on a matte drafting film working both front and back and done on a heated board called an Icarus Board invented by artist, Ester Roi and her engineer husband Mario. Though my work has won many local, national and international awards in the past, I find that this particular technique helps to enhance my work to the extent that it is receiving a higher degree of attention and acceptance than ever before.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Obviously, I would first drag them out to see all the wonderful art available here in Tucson, which is filled with excellent galleries. That done, I would have to make sure that they saw all of the beautiful natural wonders of Arizona and surrounding areas….the Grand Canyon, the Sedona Red Rock country, Monument Valley, Mesa Verde, just to name a few. No one should visit Arizona without seeing all of the fabulous sites! The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum and all of the wonderful and interesting museums on the Arizona Campus. In addition to all of that, it would be absolutely necessary that I expose them to all of the wonderful traditional food that has seeped into the Tucson area along with the culture of Mexico and we would have to visit at least a few of the Craft Breweries that have sprung into being here as well! Whew! They would probably be exhausted and ready to go home after all that!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
For my husband, Bob Brown, who has supported me through the years, in spite of all the time, money and effort I have spent continuing my art. And to all the great Colored Pencil groups of like minded artists such as the Colored Pencil Society of America, their Arizona District Chapter and my local Tucson Colored Pencil Artists Association.
Facebook: CPSA Phoenix Chapter 212, Artworks on Drafting Film, Colored Pencil Society of America