Carolyn Autenrieth

I’ve looked through life with the lens of an artist for as long as I can remember. 

 

As a Midwest transplant, I studied Art at a small university in Illinois in the mid 1980’s. My focus was primarily painting and drawing and later came to love ceramics in 2001 while in Sierra Madre, CA. At a local Ceramic studio, I learned to manipulate, throw, and appreciate clay by ‘try it and see’ mentoring from other artists. The freedom to explore launched this love of ceramics.

 

I work as a painter and a ceramic artist, moving from one to the other, ideas often in harmony with each other. My work is a response to the sometimes-ordinary things, or places in the natural world. Color, texture and form are primary elements in the work as I tease out the concept and context.

 

Early work experiences include Visual Display/Merchandising (The Bon Marche, Brooks Brothers, North Face, Burberrys), Graphic Design for a Residential Developer (brochure, advertising, signage, sales office design and prop development), Functional art, Murals (original designs and reproductions of famous work). In the early 90’s I pursued a degree in Diagnostic Radiography to exercise another part of the brain. Images on MRI and CT scans reveal fascinating structures within the human form!

 

These experiences have enhanced my current work as a teacher. For the past 15+ years, I’ve taught art in the public schools; Elementary, HS and for a few years, a university class at SPU. Currently I teach High School art full time; Painting/Drawing, Ceramics, and IB Visual Art, to a wide range of students including Advanced and Special Needs. The student population is culturally diverse and provides a rich base for teaching and learning about art to understand its’ place as a universal language for expression, connection and change. Working with students and developing art curriculum continually challenges my ideas about making art and developing techniques for visual expression. 

Artist Statement

Often my studio work combines realism with abstraction; to balance details and create tension of space, texture, light and shadow. Consideration for form, color, close-up angles, or unexpected juxtapositions present new appreciation for the subject at hand, inspired by the natural areas of the PNW or places I visit. Many times, narratives or stories that come to mind as I photograph places or arrangements of objects – these often develop into long series explored over time.

Ceramic work (porcelain and stoneware) is often in harmony with painting; the juxtaposition of light and shadow in and on the forms particularly interest me, as I cut into and add spikes to the pieces. Some work is inspired by forms and textures found along the coasts or tidal areas and others respond more conceptually to experiences, using natural forms for a narrative. This area of exploration continues to evolve with new clays and approaches to manipulating the thrown form.