Carole Estrup began her career as a fashion artist where she learned the
discipline which enables her to create every day. But her true love has always
been painting. She achieved her first successes with ambitious mythological sub-
jects but soon evolved to more personal explorations in portraiture and figure
studies. Gradually, as her skills and confidence grew, so did the range and scope
of her subjects; wildlife and nature studies, dancers, visual expressions of oriental
wisdom, the American West, visionary statements and most recently, a historical
world-view. All of these topics are treated with the same exciting, penetrating style
and are alive with authentic detail and flowing visual narrative.
Although Carole is largely self-taught, she proudly credits master-sculptor
Les Posey and portraiture specialist Marilyn Bendell (of Santa Fe) with refinement
of her anatomy, color and complexion skills. Over the years she has blended these
early teachings with her own limitless interests to create an unmistakable style of
realism, one profoundly romantic in its psychic treatment and powerfully calm be-
cause of its rightness with nature. That this style has embraced so many themes
confirms Carole's dedication to her studies, the fertility of her imagination and her
determination to achieve genuine stature.
Visually, her paintings are tender and violent combinations of context,
pigment, even texture, contrasting light and color into the shape and motion of
music, dance and ultimately, thought, expressions of her love for all art.
"I knew very clearly, at the age of two, that I wanted to be an artist," she recalls.
Her inquiring mind has made personal experiences work toward that goal. In Panama
she broke down native reluctance and taboos to study and paint the colorful, but
reclusive Choco and Cuna Indians. The many years she spent in Japan were devoted
to study of the Ainu, Oriental mores, legends and religions, and to a growing intimacy
with herself. In the United States, on both coasts, critics, galleries and patrons, and
such leaders in their fields as Robert Redford, crime writer Ann Rule, comedienne
Roseanne, linguist Carobeth Laird and Donald Trump have acknowledged her talents
with praise, awards and purchases.
Her personal and professional evolution clearly proclaims a unique integration
of training, experience and imagination. Years ago, in Southern California, she re-
solved that quality, rather quantity, would best allow her to follow a creative life.
"Please yourself," her motto reads, "and then you are certain that someone is