Born to Paint

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Carol Zarudenec Smith has a passion for the arts, especially when she sees a blank canvas,even though the canvas doesn’t have to be traditional.

“My mother told me that I have been drawing since I could hold a crayon. encourage my artistic ability, in my teens, my parents bought me some oil paints and canvas paper. I really enjoyed that medium and painted whenever I had spare time.”

But as with many artists, sometimes their passion has to be put on hold when life gets in the way.

“life got busier with a job, marriage and a child so everything was put on the back burner. However, in 1995, I painted a massive fence mural in my backyard. It consisted of 4’x8′ wood panels, 8 feet high and 32 feet long. It was painted with acrylic paints and when I totalled the hours, it took me eleven days to complete. Every time I sat on my patio I was thoroughly drawn into my “Wilderness in the City” scene.”

Her backyard project was the stimulus she needed to get back into painting.

“Once retired, the urge to paint returned. My first project was the side of my storage shed. I saw it as a huge blank canvas and went to work devising a suitable scene. In one of my uncle George’s woodworking books I saw a cartoon bear, raccoon and moose sitting on logs roasting weiners over a blazing fire. Well if that isn’t Canadian comical wildlife outdoors, I don’t know what is.” Carol tells SaultOnline, “I used acrylic paints for this mural that took me two to three days off and on to complete.People walking by commented on it and complimented me on my efforts. It made everyone who saw it smile. That’s all I wanted to do, have others enjoy it as much as I do. Every time I look at it, it makes me smile.”

Carol’s talent has now given her an opportunity to get paid for her work, “For the past three years I have been getting various commissions, mostly of pet portraits. I will try anything that challenges me just to see if I can paint it.”

Carol’s subjects are fairly common, but she captures normal everyday life with a different view.

“I like doing things from a different perspective like viewing an old weathered barn through the cracked, fogged window of an old rusting truck in the field. I also did a painting of a pair of binoculars with the lenses above them. In the lenses is the reflection of Ray Stortini’s “Ray of Light” Lighthouse at Richard’s Landing. Seagulls are flying in and out of the canvas and white-capped waves rest along the bottom of the painting.”

Seeing things from various angles or in different ways intrigues me. I have painted still life, landscape and the odd portrait but I feel my strength is in my pet portraits.” Carol said.

Carol says people need to explore what creative talents they have.

“I believe everyone has the ability to paint and with practice can become quite good. Fortunately, I was born with this God given talent. I am self-taught and never had any formal training. It all became a matter of practice, practice, practice. I personally find painting very relaxing. I become totally absorbed in what I’m doing. Hours pass by like seconds but I love every minute of it. The more I paint, the more I want to paint. It’s almost a daily passion now.”

As Carol continued to paint, she became more confident in her work in local art shows.

“I entered the January Art Gallery of Algoma Art Show. However, my paintingof three family dogs was a commission and not for sale. It was so exciting to enter my first art show. Being there with fellow members of the Algoma Art Society and other prominent artists was amazing.”

Carol is happy about being part of a very talented and creative community.

“We have so much talent in so many art forms in the Sault and surrounding areas. We are truly a gifted community.” Carol’s work will be part of a Spring Art Show on April 26.”eight other artists and myself, will be featured at theAlgoma Art Society Spring Show and Sale from 9:30-5:30 in the former English Butler in the Station Mall. I am really looking forward to this experience. I will have a number of canvases for sale with Monarch butterflies, loons, birds, sunset scenes and of course a few pet portraits. I also have cards for sale of some of my paintings. $2 from each pet portrait card sold will be donated to the Humane Society. The card “Ray of Light” with Ray Stortini and his lighthouse also has special meaning. $2 from each card will be donated to Ray for maintenance of his lighthouse. “This is my way of giving back for the blessed talent I possess.” Carol said.

Story Gallery

Those interested in Carol’s paintings or for a commissioned piece can contact her directly at (705)-759-7590.