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Pamela Carroll Works Biography

Pamela Carroll – Truth and Illusion

As a realist painter, Pamela Carroll works to portray truth. With rare perception and meticulous brushwork her still lifes present nature’s offerings—a handful of onions, a bowl of lemons, a cluster of grapes, a collection of polished shells. Her portraits are arresting—intriguing faces full of character and depth. Yet, in an apparent contradiction Carroll also conjures illusion. She strives for that jolt of intuitive response: that moment when the viewer wants to reach out and touch an object on the canvas.

Artists have known for millennia that the illusion of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface provides entry into a world of infinite possibility. In her recent body of work, Carroll continues to refine her abilities, furthering the force of her impact. With almost supernatural clarity, her paintings unveil essential qualities of nature, and in a timeless moment (occasionally with a spark of humor), truth and illusion become one.

Once Carroll has selected her subjects, she may spend several days or more constructing a still life arrangement. In Bowl of Meyer Lemons (2014), the sharp yellow-greens mix with the overripe yellow-oranges in a mound of sparkling fruit. Each lemon, branch, and leaf is distinctive. The dry, yellowing leaves curl and drop, yet a few blossoms remain to round out the lemon’s lifecycle. Working as a colorful foil to the fruit, the large blue and white ceramic bowl gleams with the patina of age. Every nuance is revealed, from small chips on the rim—raw terracotta beneath—to surface nicks, bubbles, and subtle color variations in the glaze. The cloth, though ostensibly white, is filled with reflected color and light, its folds and creases suggesting the table beneath.

Evidence of Carroll’s enthusiasm for tackling surface and texture is apparent in her choice of subjects. Onions (2014) depicts three varieties, showing their characteristic color and shape, waxy sheen, thread-like roots, and papery layers, set against the wrinkled paper of a starkly realized brown bag—a subtle visual pun. Her rendering of dry, brittle husks and sticky fuzz of cotton bolls in Cotton Branch (2015), the powdery film and burnish on each fruit in Flame Red Grapes (2015), and the hard pearly surface and distinctive coloration of familiar species in Shell Collection (2014) confirm the remarkable facility and veracity of her observational power.

When drawn by an intriguing or distinctive face, Carroll turns to portraiture. In her stunning work Manal (2015), a beautiful young woman, rendered in a limited tonal palette of muted browns, greens and black, aims her searching gaze in our direction. Spare but essential areas of white accentuate her hypnotic eyes and dewy complexion; her slim shoulder straps become a unifying compositional element. With richness and depth, this powerful work captures the subject’s physical characteristics, while suffusing it with the ineffable complexities of a young woman in the midst of self-discovery.

Pamela Carroll’s life is centered in her creative work. A self-taught artist, her paintings have been juried into national, international, and invitational exhibitions and she has garnered numerous awards. Carroll has illustrated seven children’s books, and her working techniques have been featured in several publications, including the French periodical Pratique des Arts. Her solo exhibitions include the Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, and the historic Carmel Art Association in Carmel, where she is a long-term member. The Bakersfield Museum of Art commissioned a trompe l’oeil work for their collection. In 2006, Carroll was chosen as the White House Artist of the Year and commissioned to create a series of paintings used to illustrate the First Family’s annual Christmas brochure..


Pamela Carroll

Born and raised in Southern California, Pamela Carroll embraces the traditional focus of

Realism and Pictorial lllusionism. The early Dutch masters as well as contemporary realists

painters of today have influenced Carroll’s style of painting.  Pam has been a dedicated artist for the majority of her adult life with the exception of a sixteen year hiatus where her priority was motherhood.  Currently she is a full time artist.


Awards, Solo Shows and Group Exhibitions

2000:  Carmel Plein Air Festival

2000:  City of Monterey California Alvarado Gallery Solo Show.

2000:  Carmel Art Association, Carmel, CA, Solo Show.

2003:  Oil Painters of America, Western Regional Juried Competition.

2003:  Steinbeck Center Western Regional Juried Show, Salinas, CA.

2000-2001-2002-2003 –2010-2011-2012:  The Artist Magazine, finalist, Annual Juried Competition.

2004:  Carmel Art Association, Carmel, CA, Solo Show

2004:  Monterey Museum of Art, Juried Competition.

2005:  Monterey Museum of Art, Juried Competition.  “People’s ChoiceAward”.

2005:  J. Howell Fine Art Gallery, Healdsburg California, Solo Show.

2005:  Juried into lntemational Guild of Realism.

2006:  Hauk Fine Arts Gallery Pacific Grove, California, Solo Show.

2006:  lnternational Guild of Realism juried competition at the Manitou Gallery, Santa Fe, NM.

2006:  The Artist’s Magazine “Still Life Competition” 3rd place.

2006:  Klaudia Man Gallery lnvitational Realism Show, Santa Fe, NM.

2006: Paintings included in “No Empty Walls’ private-collection of Stan and Ginnie Eschner, Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield, CA

2006:  The White House, Washington D.C.  Selected as artist of the year to paint a series of

Christmas paintings used to illustrate the White House Christmas brochure.

2007:  J. Howell Fine Art Gallery, Healdsburg, California Solo Show.

2007:  Juried into lnternational Guild of Realism “Leading Masters of Realism” show held at

Winstanley-Roark Fine Arts, Dennis, MA.

2007:  Klaudia Marr Gallery, lnvitational Realism Show, Santa Fe, NM.

2007:  Juried into Small Painting North America Show held at Greenwich Workshop Gallery

Fairfield, CT.  Publisher’s Choice Award.

2008:  lnternational Guild of Realism invitation’al held with Trudy Uabell FineArt, Naples,  FL

2008:  Juried into “The New Reality: “The Frontier of Realism in the 21st. Century” a two year

traveling museum show.

2008:  lnvited to participate in “Lie to the Eye.’ A trompe l’oeil show held at the Bakersfield

Museum of Art, Bakersfield, CA.

2008:  Commissioned by the Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield, CA to paint a trompe I’oeil work for their permanent collection.

2009:  Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, CA Solo show “Monterey Now.”

2010:  Carmel Art Association, Carmel, CA solo show.

2010:  International Artist Magazine, Dec/Jan issue, finalist in People Figures Competition.

2011: Juried into lnternational Guild of Realism show held at Sage Creek Gallery, Santa Fe,

  1. NM. Directors Choice Award

2012: Juried into International Guild of Realism show held at Jones and Terwilliger Gallery

Carmel, CA.



2001-2003:  Several children’s books published with Sleeping Bear Press, Chelsea, MI.

2004:  The Monterey Herald, “Getting Real” by Lisa Crawford.

2004:  Painting chosen to be in the lnternational Artist Magazine “How did you paint that” book,

Volume 1.

2005:  Painting chosen to be in the lnternational Artist Magazine “How did you paint that” book

Volume 2.

2006:  The Monterey Herald,”Tricking the Eye” by Rick Deragon.

2006:  Art Works winter issu.e feature article’Not a Still Lifel by Erin Glark.

2008:  The Artist Magazine feature article “Toy Stories” by Lisa Wurster.

2008:  Carmel Magazine featured article, “Life in Beautiful Focus” by Brett Wilbur, Editor

2010:  The Artist’s Magazine, one of the artists included in ’32 lnsider Tips” article.

2012:  Western Art Colilector Magazine featured article “Every Day Beauty.”

2012: Southwest Art Magazine featured article, ‘Artist’s to Watch” by Bonnie



Selected Public Collections

Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, CA

Bakersfield Museum ofArt, Bakersfield, CA

Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula, Monterey, CA

Children’s lllustrated Art Museum, Crestwood, MO

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