Carol Schmauder drew and painted in oil in her youth. She gave it up while raising nine children because it was hard to “find a place to put oil paintings to dry without little fingers smearing them around.”
In 1988, she attended an art exhibition and decided to revisit her creative spirit. She began taking watercolor classes and attending workshops and, within a year, was selling well.
Her work captures the simple beauty of life, from landscapes and skyscapes to still lifes and family outings, from animals, birds and fish to abstract representations. Schmauder’s goal is simply to create something beautiful that others can enjoy. “If my paintings bring happiness to others, then I have accomplished my goal,” she said.
Schmauder also makes jewelry with a steampunk flair, using found objects including watch parts and shiny new findings in a mix of the old and the new. That mix is also represented in some of her paintings like the details of a grist mill made relevant in earthy tones and interesting shapes. “I like sprockets and gears,” she said.
She has shown her work in dozens of solo and group displays in Oregon, Idaho and Washington, and has been a part of Spokane Studio Art Tour since its inception 13 years ago. A former member of the Spokane Watercolor Society, Schmauder joined Avenue West Gallery, 907 W. Boone Ave., two years ago. She will be the featured artist in May with an opening reception May 6. On May 13, she will be signing copies of “A Sleepy-bye Tale,” a book written by Schmauder’s sister.
Susan Beeman, who writes under the pen name of S. Anne Beeman, wrote the tale about woodland creatures preparing for sleep for her daughter many years ago.
“I couldn’t carry a tune so I wrote a poem that, when read, sounded like a lullaby,” Beeman said. “I wrote the book because I wanted to have a gift for my daughter that she would treasure and know in her heart that her simply ‘being’ moved me to create something lovely.”
A few years after Beeman wrote the lullaby, Schmauder illustrated it. “I knew Carol could complement the singsong loveliness of the poem with her art,” Beeman said.
After her daughter outgrew the tale, it sat in a drawer until a year ago when Schmauder and Beeman decided to self-publish, hoping to bring peace and a restful sleep to others.
“Painting brings peace to my soul,” Schmauder said, “I love the flow of the paint beneath my brush and the joy of seeing the image emerge on the paper.”
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