Today we’d like to introduce you to Carlotta Baird.
Carlotta, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
As a child, I gravitated to drawing and painting as a way of having fun and telling stories. It was one of the few activities where I felt confident and carefree. When I was in junior high, I remember having a ‘big talk’ with my dad about signing up for art instead of band. He was an accomplished musician and I was worried about disappointing him, but it was important enough for me to risk it. He supported my decision and I began to take ownership of these feelings of being an artist. I pursued an art degree in college but did not finish and began working and supporting myself on a different path. I continued to dabble in art projects but not with intensity or any sort of consistency. I always identified as an artist, even if I wasn’t publicly admitting it.
Skip through the years and various career paths, starting a family and raising children…For these last four years, I began picking up my paints and brushes again with a new eagerness. I wanted to pursue my craft so that it would become a way of how I live my daily life. When I took deliberate actions toward my goal that included art mentorships, classes and shows, I felt such a shift. The creative energy that had been percolating away on my back-burner now had a place to go.
I find that the more I paint, the more I need to paint. Participating in the creative experience and expression is how I process the world and adds such personal balance. The by-products of this gift to myself, become paintings that I can share with others. It’s a win-win!
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I create abstract images inspired by visual references from nature, using primarily acrylic paint and oil paint sticks. I begin with an idea for a composition, then, as I paint, depart from the original visual reference. I use intuitive mark-making, shapes, and color to direct my paintings, balanced with old-school rules of design and composition. I have enjoyed working on larger-scale pieces since it adds an additional physicality, comparable to elements of dance, which bring a unique energy to the finished pieces.
I am interested in certain emotional narratives that operate in endless loops. (You know, those stories or ideas that you keep telling yourself, that you bore your friends or partner with, that keep you up at night googling.) Painting seems to be a place where I can give a form and sometimes resolution to these long conversations with myself. At the core, these are the conversations that shatter the certainty of my belief systems and force me to explore new ideas of doubt and faith. As my work is displayed, I hope to hold space for the viewer’s narrative as well.
Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
Overall, I think life has become easier for artists due to the evolving social media environment. There are so many ways to share your work and ideas and gain exposure that didn’t exist 10 years ago. Growth is not as dependent on one big break and often seems to come from multiple smaller opportunities and connection. There is greater access to learning opportunities and a worldwide community of artists! With our current political climate, as terrifying and chaotic as it appears, artists are desperately needed. Artists educate, protest, illuminate the world around us. It’s an exciting time to be an artist! Houston is an amazing city for artists. I’m excited to see more non-traditional opportunities for artists beyond gallery shows.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
My most recent work finds its way to my Instagram account first (@carlotta_baird) and then my website: carlottabaird.com. I post a lot of in process pics. I don’t have any exhibitions lined up at the moment but am always looking for doors that open when I push them.
- Website: www.carlottabaird.com
- Phone: 713-628-9265
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @carlotta_baird
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/carlottabairdart/