Please meet the newest artist at the Art Mecca: Cara O'Leary. Cara is a busy woman but we caught up with her to get a peek inside her life:
Q: When did you know you were an artist?
A: I have always been a creative person. Ever since I can remember, I have been trying to get my hands on markers, paper, paint, anything. One time when I was little, I created a 4 ft tall giraffe out of toilet paper rolls, boxes, and markers. I started my painting in middle school through a private art teacher. Then, In high school, I focused on fine arts, where I gained valuable knowledge in art history, composition, and color theory. My teacher was extremely focused on the design of the works, as well as subject. I took two college level art classes in high school, which I think was very beneficial to my knowledge of art. When I went to college, I wanted to do something art related, but my mother refused to let me be a fine arts major. Instead, I did Arts Management with a minor in Art History and Studio Arts. These painting classes are what made me fall in love with oils! The Arts Management classes made me realize my passion for the gallery world.
Q: How long have you lived in Charleston?
A: I am a native Charlestonian, having lived in Mount Pleasant the majority of my life, until now, and going to school there, downtown, and West Ashley.
Q: What's your favorite medium?
A: My preferred medium is oil paints! I draw, use acrylics, and collage as well. I love oils because of the vibrant colors and the fact that you can easily change what you are painting. For me, oil is malleable and de-stresses my mind. I get impatient with acrylics because they dry too fast!
Q: What's inspiring you right now?
A: Right now, my inspiration is with nature. I love the ocean and colors in nature. I love movement in nature, it draws me in and I feel the energy mother nature has when painting landscapes. I also try to stick to my favorites, post-impressionism, by using a pointillism technique to my oils. I love Georges Seurat and the theory of color behind it. Although my works are not pointillism, I paint with a pallet knife to give the painting a textured look when I fold in the colors.
Q: Tell us about a typical day-in-the-life.
A: I really do not have a typical day. I currently am working a few days a week and my fiancee and I only have one car. Pretty much, I wake up, eat, get my son ready and either watch him or go to work. Then, I go get him and we go home and get ready for bed! But sometimes, we go to one of our parents houses while I wait for Adrian to get off work. We have lots of support from our family and friends.
Q: Your son is very young - and you work at Art Mecca. When do you paint?
A: I usually paint when my son is sleeping. That means staying up late and sacrificing sleep! I have also had a friend come watch him so I could get some painting done, too. The problem where we live is that I do not have a studio space. I paint on my living room floor in front of the entertainment center and stairs. I usually have to move a handful of toys and other things, but I like working on the floor!
We're glad Cara is carving out creative time and has joined us at Art Mecca! The weather is beautiful and downtown is festive. Stop in for a visit, check out Cara's new work, and let us help you pick the perfect guest for the hard-to-shop-for people on your list.