As a child, Carol Ann Rasmussen always wanted to paint. "I was fascinated with color.
I think I saw color differently than other people...vibrant with energy in color."
Her parents were hard working people, working hard just to survive. There was no art in their lives. Consequently she was never encouraged to have it in her life. She left home at 18, moved to San Francisco and was on her own.
She was ahead of her time and never quite fit in with groups. With an intention of going into fashion design, she went home and started taking courses at the University of Montana. Her favorite classes were in color and art. She absolutely loved color!
Carol Ann Schauch grew up in Missoula, Mont. She interrupted her formal education to marry David Rasmussen, a geological engineer and immediately moved to South America for several years. She and David raised a family while she continued to study at various colleges, moving several times during her husband's career.
While living in Las Vegas, Nev., her interest in pottery began. She studied pottery for six years under Tom Coleman, one of the finest instructors in our country. He encouraged her to follow her heart and create out-of-the-box.
Because of her lifelong love of color, she developed her own glazes to personalize the forms and various structures she created. She was fascinated with creating new shapes with the wheel, cutting them apart and rebuilding them.
"My work was not at all like what was being done by other people."
Her favorite pieces remain in her own collection.
Before she and her husband retired to live in Cedaredge in 2004, her life was filled with a wide variety of studies, experiences, and travel. Their children were scattered throughout the country and they had no reason to stay in Nevada.
A decision was made after making several trips to the Western Slope. Friends had recommended Cedaredge because of the reputation for numerous art and cultural activities. Cedaredge was described to them as being a small friendly town housing numerous artists. Then too, they had family in Denver and Salt Lake, so moving halfway between the families made sense.
Carol Ann became a member of Delta Fine Arts where she met Daphna Russell and enrolled in one of her sculpture classes. Daphna has become her mentor, advisor, teacher, and friend. Under her tutelage, Carol Ann entered local shows and was excited about the recognition she received. She kept entering shows, not always taking a blue ribbon, but always receiving recognition.
The Rasmussens had an occasion to spend six months in North Carolina. On one excursion they viewed a display of folk art. "I was absolutely awe-stricken at these beautiful off-the-wall art objects. People had followed their own spirit, and made what they wanted to make. The experience had a dramatic effect on Carol Ann's creativity. It gave her the freedom to work from her imagination and finally create the ideas that had always lived in her head. She returned to Cedaredge with renewed enthusiasm to create her own forms.
On an excursion to New Burn, N.C., she was introduced to a fairly new medium called alcohol inks, developed for scrap bookers. A class was experimenting with inks, painting with them on non-absorbent Yupa paper (a thin plastic sheet). The possibility of using these inks on clay tiles was intriguing. She and her granddaughter signed up for a class.
Instruction consisted of painting directly from the small bottles of ink. The explosion of color that resulted on her paper so intrigued her that she continues this process on her own and developed her own techniques.
Everything done with these inks is an experiment. Some turn out well; others are discarded if not pleasing. I never know what will happen. Gradually, I am gaining more and more control. I may throw out three out of five paintings, but I may have learned something that I may be able to use another time.
"Every painting I do is an experiment. Colors appear that are not achievable in any other way. This process is loose and volatile. I am so intrigued with the process and experimentation that I cannot leave it alone."
Alcohol inks are not widely used for this art process. She is one of the pioneers using these inks and was quickly asked by the local artists to give workshops at the Creamery in Hotchkiss and Grand Junction.
"I really enjoy teaching and because the process is so new, I learn from my students. The enthusiasm in the classroom renews my own energy to continue to develop new and innovative techniques."
Her work can be found at the Creamery in Hotchkiss, Around the Corner in Montrose, Stonehenge in Georgetown, The Art Center and Oakley Gallery in Grand Junction, Artisans Market in Steamboat Springs, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail, and the Apotheca in Telluride, along with other markets in Idaho and Montana. Originals can be found in four of the galleries.
Complete kits, made up by Carol Ann, contain everything needed to start painting with ink. Included are 10 colored inks, a tool for stamping, alcohol blending solution, a stylist (Fantastix) plus two sheets of Yupa paper.
In 2009 she was accepted into the International Directory of Artists. Most of her creative time is now spent with ink paintings and sculpture, very little time spent doing pottery at present.
She continues to develop her glazes and techniques. "Learning new techniques and taking more classes are ongoing. I will never stop expanding. Each time I learn something new, it opens 10 more doors."
Examples of her work can be seen on her website, carolannrasmussen.com.blog comments powered by Disqus