Heavy Air, oil on canvas, 12" x 24"
Carolyn Caldwell came to Deer Isle after living in the Virgin Islands, where she painted brightly-lit watercolors that were often busy with people and activity. In Deer Isle, she has been increasingly drawn toward quieter and more contemplative images. Working in pastels and oils, she began painting expressive landscapes, reducing them to simpler forms. The result has elevated her subjects to the status of iconic images. Green Head became “Lobsterville,” and familiar island scenes became less specific, but weighted with universal connotations: the solitary clammer in a broad, darkening cove, a lone island beneath a sky awash in moody clouds.
Caldwell’s latest pastels are the result of close observation of the landscape as twilight subdues the colors, removes detail and simplifies shapes, sometimes to the point of abstraction. We’re left with a sense of calm reflection and enduring mystery.