We've had the privilege to represent Richmond based artist Carson Overstreet in a variety of exciting ways since our relationship began in 2015 when we fell in love with her female figures. These days, Carson juggles a busy life of motherhood & a full time career as an artist; we thought it would be fun this Mother's Day weekend to catch up on her creative life. And, does she still paint the beautiful classic nudes that started it all? The answer is yes!
PH: What has been the biggest surprise in your art journey the last 5 years?
CO: Five years ago my art career as an artist really kicked-off with my 2015 Art opening at Palette Home; there are so many great memories from that night, and I am still grateful that Stephanie Snyder took a chance on me, a completely unknown artist. The show was primarily the female figure with a few abstracts. My current work, however, is concerned mainly with landscapes and florals though I do occasionally paint abstracts and sketch nudes.
CO: For a long time, when people inquired about my profession, I found it difficult to say: "I am an artist." Now, it is second nature. It is the fact that I am now an artist by profession which has surprised me most. Within a year's time, my art went from a hobby that I had recently "taken-up" to my profession. That is a remarkable thing. Every day, I am thankful for this God-given talent that has afforded me a career doing something that I love.
PH: Thinking about Mother's Day this weekend, how has your mother impacted your art?
CO: Well, my mother gave me my artistic abilities so there is a biological component! My mother is incredibly artistic. My maternal grandfather was also an artist. Growing-up, I do remember my mother sketching a lot and being a creative person, generally speaking. She and my father encouraged my art by putting me in art lessons as a child, but also by making art part of everyday life: they purchased art, appreciated and talked about art, my mother took watercolor lessons, we visited museums and traveled. And not only were the visual arts encouraged in my parents' house, but music and literature as well. I remember my father attempting to read and discuss The Raven with me when I was about ten years old and encouraging me to read Chaim Potok's The Chosen at age twelve. Music was always playing in our house---Bob Dylan, opera, bluegrass, you name it. To this day, I have a deep appreciation of music.
PH: Describe a day that when you get to the end of it you say to yourself, now THAT was a great day.
CO: Most of my days are constant rushing and being pulled in too many directions with never enough time. A lot of working mothers feel this way I would imagine. A great day for me means not rushing. Reading the newspaper, doing something outdoors like taking a long walk or working in the garden and ending the day with good food, wine and conversation would make for a great day.
PH: What is something your friends say is "so you"?
CO: I actually texted my group of girlfriends to ask this question because I had no idea! The answers were: "British TV!", "reads hard books for fun!" and "tackles challenging DIY projects!"
At the end of another long quarantine day, receiving these messages from my friends made me smile and remember the blessings in my life, especially the gift of friendship. To quote author Marcel Proust: “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
PH: We are so excited about your journey Carson, and honored to be a small part of it. Thank you!
Happy Mother's Day!
Carson Overstreet original paintings AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE HERE.
Call us to inquire or have delivered locally on approval. We ship & insure. Enjoy!
FOR THE LOVE OF ART
Carson Overstreet in 2015:
I grew-up in Bedford, a small town located in the western part of Virginia in the foothills of the Blue Ridge. I moved to Richmond after graduate school and immediately noticed that it was so flat! But I love Richmond too.
My father will never forgive me if I don't use this opportunity to say that my family has lived in Virginia since 1611; I'm a Virginian through and through!
My parents always encouraged my brother and me in artistic and cultural pursuits. They took us to the theater, museums and concerts, enrolled us in music and art lessons, and took us on trips--some international before that was a common thing to do. My grandfather was an artist and everyone on my mother's side is artistically inclined either in music or the visual arts.
My parents and brother still live in Bedford, though my parents bought a condo in Richmond--just down the street on Grove--so they can visit my children as much as they like!
Well, I've created "art" for as long as I can remember. As a child, I primarily sketched, and of course colored. I would create fashion "books" and design homes where I would sketch out each room and then tape all the pages together to make a house. We had this great art teacher who moved to Bedford, Mr. Ruzak, who taught lessons in the summer at his home--which was actually a sort-of tree-house. It was really cool! There was a glassed-in porch situated in the trees where he'd set-up his art "camp." He exposed us to a variety of mediums through hands-on experience: clay, stained glass, charcoal, paint, etc. He taught us things like linear perspective. He was a bit of a Bohemian--so different than my family--which fascinated me! As a teenager, I spent a lot of time drawing portraits and figures.
I did some painting, but only in the last few years took-it-up again. I started to really focus on painting about a year and a half ago as a creative outlet.
Art has always been a big part of my life. In fact, I spent most of my childhood thinking I would study art in college, but chose History instead! In my 20s and early 30s, I worked in many non-profit jobs, but they never fulfilled my desire to "create." To satiate this need, I became a very competent cook, and I've tried about every DIY project out there! But painting seems to have hit the nail on the head. I love the fact that this is something I can do for the rest of my life.
It truly is a release--a creative outlet--and it has taken many years for me to realize that it is the outlet that I need in order to be happy.
One weekend about a year and a half ago when I had just taken-up painting again, the children were asleep, and I decided to embark upon a rather large and ambitious painting. I drank wine, listened to music and painted for hours. I generally like to go to bed early, but was so wrapped-up in what I was doing that I stayed up late into the night. Now that I say it, I guess that was a pivotal moment for me. I woke-up the next morning thinking: Painting truly makes me happy. I want to keep doing this!