ArtIsbyCarolBurns

Quirky Drawings, Paintings, Illustrations and more...

Swindon, United Kingdom

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Announcement    You are now entering the weird and wonderful world of Carol Burns where flights take you into outer space, DNA floats above your head and people talk in colours.

Carol is an artist and illustrator well known for her slightly strange line drawings, her acrylic paintings using gold/silver/copper leaf and her Illustrated Family Tree/Family Home pieces. She might be a little odd (all the best people are) but she's very nice so if you would like something special just ask...

Announcement

Last updated on Mar 27, 2016

You are now entering the weird and wonderful world of Carol Burns where flights take you into outer space, DNA floats above your head and people talk in colours.

Carol is an artist and illustrator well known for her slightly strange line drawings, her acrylic paintings using gold/silver/copper leaf and her Illustrated Family Tree/Family Home pieces. She might be a little odd (all the best people are) but she's very nice so if you would like something special just ask...

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Carol Burns

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About ArtIsbyCarolBurns

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On Etsy since 2012

It's a funny old world sometimes isn't it! This is the story of how a social researcher became a full time artist. (Warning. Carol is Scottish and takes after her Gran...that means if she can say something in two words she'll use twenty!)

I have a 1st class Masters Degree in social research. I love research! Well, qualitative research...the number stuff makes me want to go running for the hills! Seriously, mention statistics and I'm off but tell me your story and I can listen for hours! I guess, when you think about it, it's not really that surprising that I've ended up illustrating people's lives. Anyway, here's how it happened...

In 2009, having not picked up a pencil in years, I started drawing again. We had just moved to Thailand from the UK and my Mum was coming to visit. I knew that she was missing me terribly and I wanted to give her something that would bring a smile to her face when I wasn't there. I drew a house then filled the rooms with all the things I knew she loved...from art deco style flowers to her favourite piece of music (even managed to squeeze in a wee message to her in morse code but I'm not telling what it says...far too mushy!). When she went to have it framed, she was approached by a woman in the shop who said 'I've never seen anything like that. Where did you get it?' and with that 'Art Is by Carol Burns' was born. I learned a lot from the first few clients I worked with, refined my process and designed a questionnaire to make sure I capture everything that makes the person or family I'm working with unique (likes, dislikes, jokes, nicknames, holidays...everything that makes your family yours really!). I then extended my range to include:

- 'Family Home' which have mini-illustrations representing the whole family;
- 'Family Tree's' where the mini illustrations are contained within the branches and the trunks of the tree and;
- 'Tree of Life' where one person in particular is celebrated.

A recipient of a 'Tree of Life' for her 40th birthday recently contacted me and said that it was like having a portrait done except instead of having to look at her ugly mug it contained everything she loved and that she would treasure it forever! Made my day...made my year actually!

Two and a half years later, we moved back to the UK. I was still creating my 'Illustrated life' pieces but started a new research job working with patients and carers. My role was to use their experiences as a way to see where improvements to services could be made. I heard stories that were uplifting, heartbreaking, funny and brave! I started doing simple line drawings...illustrating ideas, my thoughts when I couldn't put them into words and phrases or expressions that had stuck with me. I shared them online and people loved them! As more orders came in I started to think about what else I could offer. I wanted to try and create something which was a wee bit different but was affordable too (I know how depressing it is to see a piece of work that you fall in love with but know that unless you go and sell a body part you will never be able to afford it!) so I started experimenting with the line drawings. It took a year of drawing every day to hone my skills (I was knee deep in paper...it was awful...couldn't find the cat for a week!). Now nearly every picture is created blind (This means that I look only at the object I am drawing and never at the paper in front of me...even when I lift my pen!) and I combine these drawings with digital textures and colours to create some of my more 'out of this world' pieces. People regularly send me suggestions and photographs via FB and Twitter which has meant that I have been in the wonderful position of selling pieces I've not even drawn yet!

It was about this time that I was getting to the point where there were just not enough hours in the day! My lovely, long suffering, husband never saw me (Some might say that wasn't such a bad thing lol) and suggested that I take a break from the research and attempt to go full time with my art. *gulp*. It's amazing how much time you suddenly have when you give up 'the day job'. I could now experiment with....er....stuff! So, having been badgered by my lovely (I say lovely, I really mean pesky) friend I started working in colour. Acrylics were my weapon of choice but again, I wanted to keep my work interesting and a little bit different. Living in Thailand had been incredibly inspiring. We were surrounded by gold...it was on the Temples, Buddha's, Jewellery...you name it? It probably had gold on it (Seriously, stand still long enough and...). I fell in love with how the changing light glinted off all that metal and decided to see if I could capture some of that in my paintings by using gold/silver and copper leaf. It's fiddly and I often end up with it on me, the curtains, the cat....but I think the end result is worth it.

So now you know a bit more about me, my products and the ethos of my shop. I love getting to know new people so come say hi on Facebook or follow me on Twitter...I promise I will try not to talk too much :-)

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