About Carol Breen

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My Story

The small Alberta mining town of Canmore is where I spent my formative years—what a magical place to play, learn and grow.

In this early world my creative materials were sticks, mud, sand, crayons, scraps of fabric and paper.

My early inspirations were: comic books, hooked rugs, teapots, embroideries, blankets and patterned fabrics. I spent hours looking at the patterns of pussy willow branches, woven birds nests, mountain ice, wild flowers and imaginary creatures in the clouds. 

I loved to listen to my father’s bedtime stories at the end of the day—especially the ones about horses.

I had no idea that these experiences were planting the seeds for the things that I would choose to do in the future. Moving to the big city of Calgary as a teenager was an adjustment. After awhile I discovered the wonderful things it had to offer...galleries, music, and (in 1963) the Alberta College of Art. It was four years of intense learning, taught by dedicated artists and enhanced by talented fellow students. My creative tools, although more sophisticated and sometimes sharper, were like my childhood ones. I drew, painted, printed, dyed and made things—weavings, jewelry and pottery. It was there that I recognized my interest and continued love of colour. In 1967, I graduated with a Diploma in Applied Art and General Craft.

For the past 28 years (yes, that long), I have lived in the city of Fort McMurray, Alberta. "What inspires you up there," people ask? Sometimes my answer is, "Warm blankets and hot tea. Sometimes it’s snow patterns, red willow branches, green spring, orange foxes, ravens, people and, of course, dancing lights."

Now my creative materials are my imagination, crayons, pencils, pastels, sand, paints, willow sticks, colour, scraps of fabric and paper. Add music (and CKUA) and I have a recipe for making art.

 

Carol Breen's art is complex, witty, and life-affirming. It is a visual diary of everyday objects and people around her. Like a journal, a constant stream of ideas and motifs connect one work to the next. Her art is about colour, humour, transformation, communication, and travel (both imaginary and real). As she puts it, "In your imagination, you can go anywhere."
—Julia Whittaker, Art History Instructor

Where to find my work:

  • Points North Gallery in Ft. McMurray 780-790-1777
  • The Collectors' Gallery in Calgary 403-245-8300

More about me (click link below):