Sometimes, you just need to go to France.

>> Jillian Player

I was surprised to find CarrolAnn Smedley living across the street from me in the sweet little grey house on Fernwood Road, close to the village centre. She has been living in this tidy house, converted into two suites, for twenty years. When walking up to her second-story apartment, her home feels like a cool, fresh breeze. The large, bright studio at the end of the apartment is where you’ll find her happily painting most days. Now semi-retired, she is devoting her life to making art. Large canvasses, bright with her signature colour palette, line the walls of the studio. Paintings of flowers, buildings, and mysterious figures fill the canvasses. Her ongoing interests in travel, architecture, culture, and colour are constant themes that have kept CarrolAnn excited about art for many years.

CarrolAnn has been creative all her life, but began to take painting seriously while living in the United States. She was greatly influenced by the art and culture of the southwest, and her art still bears the bold sunset hues of the desert sky. Originally, CarrolAnn’s focus was collage and assemblage, which she still uses in her paintings. Recently, she made a series of assemblage pieces. She created small, iconographic altars that were shown at the Collective Works Gallery, where she was a member.

CarrolAnn is constantly experimenting, taking classes with different artists, and using different implements (rather than brushes) on her canvasses. Her work is unfettered and takes direction from her mood and inspiration. CarrolAnn’s work is expressed in a range from abstract to representational, bold lines to soft blending. Her colour palette is vibrant; reds, oranges, and cerulean blues dominate the canvas. She also creates the most beautiful sketchbooks. They are brimming with collaged pictures, washes of paint, and writing. Each little page is a complete work of art. CarrolAnn shows her art in group and solo shows in Victoria and beyond, and she is long-standing member in the Fernwood Art Stroll. Stop by the grey house on Fernwood Road during the Art Stroll this summer and find out what is hidden inside.