Carrie Clayden was born and raised in Northern California and now resides in Santa Cruz, CA. She took her first art class while in high school, and that class planted a seed which would grow first into an Art major at UC Santa Cruz and then into a career in which she specializes in painting with oil and acrylic. She graduated from college in 1995, but stopped painting for many years afterward, instead devoting her time to raising her children.
After a long hiatus Carrie rediscovered her love for art. Two major influences helped inspire Carrie to begin painting again: the most influential was the book "The Artist Way" by Julia Cameron, which identifies the inner critic that sabotages us when we create. Being able to recognize the critic helped Carrie put in perspective and silence her self-doubt and unwanted criticism. At the same time Carrie also discovered the painter Robert Burridge, and quickly fell in love with his enthusiastic approach to painting. Bob's fresh approach helped her to loosen her technique, and she found this new method of painting suited her personality much better.
The shift transformed her attitude towards painting for the better, and resulted in her teaching these methods to her own students in turn.
Carrie began her teaching at the Art is You retreat in 2010, which helped her discover her natural affinity for helping others become inspired artists. Carries enthusiasm for art comes out in her teaching and helps to emphasize the creative process rather than the product. She continues to teach today at the Santa Cruz Art League, at her studio, and through other various venues.
All of Carrie's themes resonate with her life, following closely with the idea that painters tend to paint what is important to them. Carrie's love of nature helps to inspire her two main themes: flowers and water. The sunlight of the spirit infuses Carrie's flower paintings making the flowers dance off the canvas and merrily into the air. Her water series come from her lifelong love of the ocean and its ability to both make a body weightless, and dance dappled light upon its surface. Carrie expresses her hands-on personality by literally putting her paint-covered hands to the canvas. Carrie finds that connecting physically with the painting without the interference of brushes helps her connects to its soul.
You can find her website at carrieclayden.com .