In the late 1990s Carolyne
was invited to conduct painting workshops in Taos, NM and Canyon de
Chelly in Arizona. She began teaching weekly art classes and workshops
in Palm Desert, CA A study of Carolyne Hawley’s paintings reveals an
insight to her passion of subjects: figurative, gardens, courtyards and
animals. Primarily focused upon southwestern images, her talents as a
renown equine artist are legion.
Born in Chicago in the early
1940s, Carolyne’s mother was a multi-talented artist studying to be a
fashion illustrator. Carolyne recalls: “I remember, around the age of
four, I would draw from my mother’s book of nudes for hours! In those
early years, I was encouraged by my mother and my grandfather, who was a
professional graphic artist in the 1930s and 1940s. “
When she was six years old,
Carolyne’s family moved south to a small farm near Peoria, Illinois.
Growing up in the “heartland”, Carolyne’s art education began. Drawn to
the beauty and secrets of nature, Carolyne became acquainted with the
individual mystique and personalities of the different animals and
critters in her surroundings. Caught up in a little-girl fascination
with horses, she took note of their various nuances and traits.
In her early teens, the family moved
to an 85-acre forested property, a paradise of wildlife then and now,
which today surrounds an 8-acre fishing lake. With winter approaching
and plans for building a new house postponed until Spring, the family of
five moved into a one-room log cabin on the property. It was a cold
Christmas that winter, and a true pioneer experience in many ways.
Carolyne says, “I look back on it all and see that it was an education
with God, nature, and the animals all rolled up into one; something that
could not be learned in a classroom. We always had cows, chickens,
ducks, and a special dog, but it was now that my dream of having my own
horse came true. He was my most desired subject to draw at that time.”
She began riding and became personally involved with the fluid
movement of a horse, and started sketching her beloved horses in
As a teenager, Carolyne’s
interest continued, and her classmates considered her the class artist
throughout her school years. She married a high school sweetheart, and
as a young bride and mother, the family traveled west to settle in Palm
Springs. Carolyne thrilled to the knowledge that the area also
attracted ‘horse people’. While her husband was a firefighter away from
home much of the time—having three young children, two horses, two dogs,
and a few miscellaneous pets on their 2-1/2 acre rancho, she managed to
recreate something of the rural life she had been accustomed to and
continued her drawing using pencil, charcoal, and pastels.
In the early 1970s Carolyne met
several influential individuals who contributed to her education as a
budding artist: Introduced to legendary western artist Burt Procter by
friend Allen A. Erwin (also known as “The Calvary Kid”) who was writing
a book about the famous John H. Slaughter, a pioneer cattleman and trail
driver, Burt became a major mentor and teacher. From Burt, Carolyne
learned the “Four Rules to a Good Painting”: 1) predomination, 2)
variety of shapes, 3) lines of action, 4) balance.
Emily Touraine, another
recognized artist of the west, was also a strong guiding force in the
use of oils and acrylics. Carolyne studied privately from the early
1970s through the early 1980s in Touraine’s studio, located on the Cook
Ranch outside of Galistao, NM where the movie Silverado was
filmed. From Touraine, Carolyne learned her method about energy, light,
color and shape synchronization, combined with music.
During the 1970s, Carolyne was
showing her animal and horse portraiture in numerous horse shows,
entering the Scottsdale, AZ and National Arabian Horse Shows, and the
Denver, CO All Stock Show in 1975. In 1976, the National Arabian Horse
Show held in Lewisville, KY honored her by placing her art work on the
cover of the program which sold over 85,000 copies.
In the 1980s, Carolyne dabbled in
some unfamiliar mediums, and began a series of pencil illustrations for
two children’s books written by Faith Hawley. She studied water color
with Ken Decker of Fallbrook, CA and experimented with stone sculpture
in marble with Frank Garski, a recognized stone sculptor well-known for
his abilities with the chisel.
Over the years Carolyne continued her
studies with such artists as Irene Scoggins, Donald Puttman, Neil Boyle,
Martha Saudek and Ron McKee, accepting that the quest for knowledge is
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s
Carolyne’s work could be seen in various southwest galleries: Savage
Galleries in Scottsdale, AZ and Santa Fe, NM; Christine’s of Santa Fe;
Little America in Flagstaff, AZ and the Agnishiah Gallery in Sedona, AZ.
In the late 1980s Carolyne was commissioned for two large murals for
the Indian Wells, CA City Hall and the Darr Eye Clinic in Palm Desert,
CA. The city of Palm Springs, CA commissioned Carolyne for portraits of
Sonny Bono (a former mayor of that city) and Ronald Reagan, which are on
view today in the city hall. A feature story in Art West
magazine during this period provided published introduction to art
lovers and collectors.
By this time Carolyne’s subject
matter had begun to evolve and focus on a western theme, still retaining
the art of figurative, gardens, and horses, but adding cowboys, Native
Americans, cows, southwest wildlife and gardens with adobe
architecture. Awarded Best Of Representational by the Palm Springs Art
Museum, 1999. Her work was displayed at the inaugural annual
Southwest Arts Festival in Indio, CA with paintings of horses, Indians,
and buffaloes. Three awards were presented, and upon achieving a 2nd
Place award for Southwest Figurative, Carolyne was approached by gallery
owner Richard Danskin, one of the judges. Danskin encouraged her to
show her horse and buffalo paintings at his El Paseo gallery in Palm
Desert, CA. The Maui, HI and Palm Beach, FL galleries of Richard
Danskin were also successful in selling her paintings.
A technique Carolyne occasionally
employs in selected horse and Indian paintings includes small images of
buffaloes or horses painted into a background of clouds, the shadings of
a horse’s coat, or an Indian headdress. Almost indiscernible, the
delightful discovery of these additional paintings within a painting
offers a new dimension to the viewer. Another technique used by
Carolyne is to build up texture with modeling paste and gels to create a
dimensional illusion in her garden and landscape paintings. Painting on
board in addition to stretched canvas, oil has always been her medium of
The 1990s provided additional
opportunities for art shows, resulting in various awards. With her
presence at the El Paseo gallery of Richard Danskin in Palm Desert,
Carolyne was a published feature story in Palm Springs Life
magazine, and was a cover and feature story in the Appaloosa Journal
in 1997. Other galleries showing her work included Visions Gallery in
Morro Bay, CA, Lawrence Galleries in Portland, OR, Simic Galleries in La
Jolla, Beverly Hills, and Carmel, CA. McGaw Graphics in New York,
Leanin’ Tree based in Colorado, Bentley Publishing Group in California
and Murals Your Way chose Carolyne’s images for national distribution of
posters, greeting cards, coffee mugs and wall murals.
During the winter ‘snowbird’ season,
for which she has become well-known and with a referred following, and
continues instruction to the present.
The millennium brought annual
participation in the Indio, CA National Date Festival Art Show,
resulting in numerous top awards including Best of Show, Best of
Division, Popular Vote of the Public, and Award of Excellence.
Continuing her presence in the Palm Desert, CA Richard Danskin Gallery,
Carolyne has been the featured artist since 1990 and has accrued
numerous collectors through the gallery. In her first year of
participation in the annual San Dimas, CA Festival of Arts, with a panel
of judges including Mian Situ, Carolyne was awarded a Bronze Medal in
oil. In Tucson, AZ, she participates in the Empire 100 Art Show, and
the Mountain Oyster Club’s annual art show, where in 2010 Carolyne was
honored by 48 individuals with intent to purchase one of her entries.
Such exposure has resulted in new collectors.