Saturday, March 26, 2011

Vintage Library Cards - An Illustration Series

This is a series of India ink and gouache illustrations on vintage library cards. I happened upon some blank library cards and it struck me how useless they now seem; kind of sad because they were once very, very important! When I was little the first thing I always did upon checking out a book was to read the names of the people who checked it out before me, and how long ago they had read it. Yes, I realize I am a huge geek. Anyway, I asked my sister (who works in a library) if she happened to have access to some retired library cards. Within a few days I had cards dating back to 1965 for books like "What is Existentialism" and "Being and Nothingness" by Jean Paul Sartre. The series will depict vintage typewriters (books, duh) in some way "acting out" the book the card is from. Yes, it is a silly project. But silly is fun and it keeps me from going crazy.

The Library Series will be sold individually for $12 each on my Etsy shop.  

Original fine art by Vancouver, Washington based artist Jamie Lutz Carroll. Buy acrylic paintings, ink and gouache illustrations, limited edition archival prints, and custom and commissioned artwork.

Thursday, March 17, 2011



 "Susy" This is a variation on a painting I did a few years ago of a young black woman during the civil rights movement. There is something about the hope and sense of resolve in this image that captivates me and I am drawn to paint her in different ways, each time a bit different. This version is in my 6x6 Series, a group of portraits painted on six inch square oak boards. All are available for only $40 each in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Revelation From a Quote

I've been regularly updating this blog for awhile now and I have a confession to make: It is incredibly difficult! Not the posting part, but the actual talking-about-my-art part. Some of my work is tied very specifically to a certain memory, event, or emotion. But the majority of it is simply a result of me doing what I love to do. I don't have a lot to say about these ones other than, "Look what I did!" But you, dear reader, deserve more than that. So I try, really try, to say something about each piece I post. Sometimes when I don't have much to say about a certain piece I feel bad. Like I'm cheating it out of something that makes it a little more complete. 

To some extent this is simply a product of our times. A hundred years ago... ten years ago even... an artist would make art and it would just be all on its own. If the artist was noticed at all, other people might talk about it, discuss its meaning, critique the composition, or verbally rip it to shreds. The artist might be called upon to answer a few questions, but they were not necessarily expected to do all the talking. With the advent of the internet, we are now called upon to do our own talking in order to get noticed enough that other people will talk, too. It's like skipping a step and going backward a few steps at the same time.

I came across a quote from the French poet Jean Cocteau today that really resonated with me: "An artist cannot talk about his art any more than a plant can discuss horticulture." All this stress over thinking of something noble, or at least coherent, to say about each completed painting finally makes sense! It's stressful because it feels unnatural and it feels unnatural because it IS. This is not to say I will be dropping the commentary from my blog. But I will be writing about artwork when it feels right for that piece, but not stress about it if there's not much to say. Sometimes, "Look what I did!" is really all there is.

Artwork above is a portrait of Jean Cocteau by Amadeo Modigliani.

Monday, March 7, 2011


 "Waiting" If you've been paying attention, you've probably noticed a persistent theme in much of my art: The loneliness that goes hand-in-hand with not really being alone.

Good Morning - Redux


 "Good Morning" was originally painted about a year ago. Back then, I really liked her and even said she was one of my favorites. But then she hung in my hallway for months and every time I walked by I liked her less. I guess that's the trouble with having your own work decorating your house - you start nit-picking and doing the coulda-shoulda-woulda thing. (Conversely, the longer I have the work of other artists around the more I love it!) One night I just grabbed her down from the wall and started painting over her. This version is so much more dynamic than the first and I like her again! For now anyway...

And the original:



 "Elsey" is the fourth in the 6x6 series, which will have a total of six paintings when complete. Like the rest, she is painted on a 6" square piece of oak board and will be sold for only $40 in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


The next edition in the 6x6 series is Cate. I believe I mentioned it in an earlier post but I'll throw it out there again... When I decided to embark on this series of small paintings I had to make a decision about composition: simply paint smaller versions of my typical work, or crop the faces in tight. I chose to paint the faces nearly the same size as I usually do and severely crop all additional information. It's interesting to me to see how they're coming together and how even though the viewer has nothing to go on, the expressions are able to tell so much of the story of the piece.

All pieces from the 6x6 series are six inches square and painted on untreated oak board. They are being sold in my Etsy shop for only $40 each.