#125 Carol MacConnell: Mixed Media, Oil, and Abstract Artist

Artist Carol MacConnell painted in oils for many years, and often in a figurative style. Now she is doing abstracts with acrylic, and adding other mixed media to her art. She even does acrylic paint pouring, but in a different technique than what most people have seen. She’s a lifelong learner, and takes classes from other artists both in person and online.

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Carol MacConnell

Abstract tulip created by Carol's acrylic pour technique.
Another abstract made by acrylic pouring.
"Peacock" mixed media artwork.
Gerberas are Great
First Class Flowers
This photo shows how Carol does her acrylic pouring technique. She starts with unstretched canvas and pulls up and down on the four corners to make the paint flow into patterns.

Carol’s website is carolmacconnell.com

Her Instagram is @carol.macconnell.art and her Facebook is Carol MacConnell Fine Art.

If you’re in Cincinnati, Ohio, you can visit the Pendleton Art Center to see Carol and her studio, as well as the studios for 175 other artists. They have open studios the final Friday of every month.

Carol has taken art classes from many great artists. Here are a few she mentioned in our conversation:

Lynn Whipple

Ardith Goodwin

Betty Krause

Paul Jenkins (it is his poured acrylic technique that she uses)

We talked about Carol’s latest blog post where she mentioned some great apps that can be used with Instagram. Here is a link to that post so you can read about her favorite apps: Splice, Word Swag, When to Post, and Panoply.

Here are some great takeaways from our conversation:

  1. Carol contacted her local ballet company and asked them if she could do a photo shoot while they practiced. She now has thousands of photos to choose from as subject pieces for future paintings.
  2. Another way Carol painted figures is she would sit at a restaurant and paint the other diners. She did that for about a year.
  3. A good place to look for artist studios in your town is repurposed manufacturing buildings. A lot of towns are renovating vacant buildings and offering them as studios for artists.
  4. Carol is a proponent of constantly learning and taking classes from other artists. She tries to do two in person workshops a year, but if she can’t see the artist in person, she will take online classes.
  5. The list of things you can add to your paintings to make it a mixed media piece is endless. Carol uses inks, pencils, oil pastels, and all types of paints.
  6. Carol works with companies that supply paintings for hospitals and other businesses. She makes large pieces for them, often acrylic poured paintings.
  7. When Carol wants a black background for a painting, she actually buys black canvas. She uses these because she doesn’t want brush strokes from a painted background to effect the flow of her poured acrylics.
  8. Carol uses GAC 800, which is a Golden product, to extend her paint when doing pouring. This allows you to use less paint, prevents crazing when drying, and it gives the paint a bit of a gloss.
  9. Carols uses Sennelier HC10, which is a spray fixative, to seal her mixed media paintings. Then she pours gloss varnish on them.
  10. To have your artwork put on products, like scarves, you need a professional to scan the artwork at very high resolution. A simple photo of your artwork won’t do.
  11. On Instagram, set up your own personal hashtag with your name. That way others can post things to it too.
  12. When saving videos to use on Instagram, you can save them at a smaller file size so they won’t take up as much room on your phone. The app you use to edit videos will probably have a setting that will do this. Carol uses the video editing app called Splice.
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