• Peggy Nichols

Artist's Post -- Carolyn Schlam

Artist’s Statement

"I am a visual artist, working in ink, oil, glass, collage and mixed media. My artwork is primarily figurative, although I have worked in other genres as well. I am a published author. I have two books published by Allworth, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing. They are: ‘The Creative Path: A View From The Studio On The Making Of Art’ and the just released ‘The Joy Of Art: How To Look At, Appreciate And Talk About Art.’"

"The Red Bow"; oil and collage

"I explore portraiture in its many aspects. Traditional, where appearance and character are foremost. Expressionistic, in which the inner life is heightened. Stylized, in which the image becomes iconic. I paint the topography of the human figure like a landscape artist. I draw the structure of forms like a still life artist. Light on skin resemble textural planes, like an interpretation of abstraction. For me, all these qualities are present in interpreting the figure."

"I experiment with mixed media. Pattern pleases me. Color is joyous. I am enchanted by an elegant line and beautifully applied paint. That inspires me. My work over time falls in three categories:

1. WORK IN OIL : In painting in oil, though I want the paint to speak for itself, it is hung on a recognizable image. The magic for me is to create a feeling of reality without verisimilitude – blue noses perhaps... as well as the illusion that the faux being on the canvas actually has an inner life. Quite a bit of alchemy is required to make this work. I am not at all detail oriented, more interpretive than deliberate."

"2. COLLAGE: I want my work to be bold. Decorative motifs inspire me. Rather than painting their patterns methodically, I incorporate cut decorative papers, placing them deliberately onto the surface of a painting. These carefully thought out pieces not only provide a framework for the image, they actually cradle and enhance the work’s expressive power."

"Woman with Kimono and Butterfly"; collage

"3. WHIMSICAL SCULPTURE: My sculpture work is in hard media like glass, ceramic, and wood. Using these materials provides me the opportunity to experiment, with a pause from the 2 dimensional work. I enjoy mixing ceramic with glass especially, like the little ceramic shoes for the glass dolls."

"Girl with Black Cat"; fused and painted glass, wood, and metal;

14" x 6" x 4"

"At this point in my artistic career, as in life experience, the images that reflect back at me from the easel or emerge from the kiln are softer and more emotional than in years past. Perhaps, I am now more concerned with refinement than with a message, with subtlety than with a statement. I am accepting this and going with it. As my books explain, I honor and support all forms of art-making, all applications and expressions, be they political, conceptual, or romantic. I have landed on the romantic side, and have accepted my purpose in art. Let others quarrel with beauty while I work diligently on. All approaches bear merit, as we all do to communicate who we are and what we are here to accomplish."

"Rainy Window"

"My work has been shown in many galleries and museums, and I have work in several collections including The Smithsonian Museum, Cedar’s Sinai Art Collection, and the City of Los Angeles."

To see more works by Carolyn, please visit her website at: Carolyn also has an upcoming podcast in the fall. For more information, please visit:

Published books

1. The Creative Path: A View From The Studio On The Making Of Art

2.  The Joy Of Art: How To Look At, Appreciate, And Talk About Art

3. Upcoming illustrated book, which will be titled: The Zen of Art