- May 9, 2012 - ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. --
The word Reinvention comes to mind when discussing the life changes Caroline Duvoe (aka Carol Mlotkowski) has made over the years. “I began my artistic career in the mid-nineties when I left corporate America for the first time. I was so disillusioned and angry with the things I had seen happen to my co-workers and been through myself. I needed a release for those pent up emotions. I needed to plan my future without reflecting on my past and I found that release through teaching myself how to paint” Caroline’s first medium was using spray acrylics on furniture creating a multi-layered, medieval look, her painted furniture was quite popular. She then moved to Mexican Saltillo Tile and finally decided to “put her big girl panties on” and started using acrylic paint in tubes, bushes and canvas and thus an artist was born, spun from corporate ashes. She completed her rebirth by creating the name and persona of Ms. Caroline Duvoe.
Her style, so she learned during one of her many treks to the Old Island Days Art Show in Key West, is Abstract Expressionism. “Do you know what style you paint in?” was the question from the art director of a local gallery who had just purchased a painting called Glass Houses (Attachment 1). It was something that had always haunted Caroline, not knowing what to call the work she did. “No I don’t” Caroline replied meekly. “You are an Abstract Expressionist. Check it out on the computer when you get home.” And she did just that and found that “there are other people out there like me, it was such a relief” sighed Caroline.
The Abstract Expressionist movement originated in New York’s Greenwich Village in the mid-1940’s and was also called Action Painting. The style is about movement, color and texture and about expressing feelings rather than trying to recreate something that already exists. The technique is very rapid sometimes resulting in numerous works during a two hour session.
Caroline has sold more than 350 painting over the years and now spends more time teaching others how to paint rather than attending art shows. “Art shows can be pretty grueling and the effort it takes to get the artwork prepared, travel and then set up is becoming less and less attractive.”
s biggest joy is teaching others how to tap into their hidden artist. “So many people say, I can’t draw a stickman when I ask them if they paint. They will quickly admit their admiration for artists and their desire to be creative but that they are afraid to let go for fear of being criticized.”
Caroline touts that with a little wine, minimal equipment and instruction and a lot of encouragement, she can teach anyone, who has the desire, how to paint.
After diving back into Corporate America in early 1998, Caroline again resurfaced three years ago after being laid off from her consulting position. “I just couldn’t do it anymore. I wasn’t happy and I had lost all enthusiasm and faith in Corporate America. Corporations just don’t care about people, just numbers.” Caroline made the decision after a year’s sabbatical to pursue a career that involves three of her biggest passions, teaching, psychology and art. Caroline is currently a senior in Human Development at Eckerd College and plans to be an Art Therapist upon acquiring her master’s degree.
Ms. Duvoe is actively pursuing artistic teaching opportunities, in addition to her school work. Caroline’
s two hour painting sessions allow even beginning painters to create from 1 – 3 abstract paintings during a two hour session. After each class she photographs the paintings, crops and mats them on the computer and emails participants the resulting slide show. “I love seeing their efforts being transformed into true works of art. It is so exciting that it has started to be more fun than painting for myself. Well, close anyhow” Caroline chuckles. Somewhat akin to the theory behind Café Monet’ or Painting with a Twist, these sessions allow participants to have a creative outlet that provides instant gratification. Even the untrained eye can create works of abstract art in a short time period, at a reasonable cost. The two hour sessions generally cost $25 including materials or $15 if participants provide their own supplies after their first session. “If they shop carefully, using coupons at Michaels or Joann’s or shop on-line, they can easily get equipped for less than $25” according to Caroline.
In addition to painting classes and school, Caroline exhibits her work at local art fairs and recently received the honor of having one of her paintings, Disco Chick (Exhibit 2), published in the 2011 Eckerd Review. This was a real honor for Caroline since she is not an art student at the college.
Ms. Duvoe is available for Private Art Parties, Individual Instruction and Commission Work. You can see more of Caroline’s work artbreak.com/
carolineduvoe. Caroline can be reached at via email at studioduvoe@
yahoo.com. Painting for yourself, as a productive outlet for your emotions and because you just love it, that’s enough incentive for me. Where’
s my brush, I’m ready to start.Photo: