Works by Carolyn Rie

Works by Carolyn Rie

Hello! My name is Carolyn Rie and I am a fine artist working in painting and photography.

Click on the thumbnails to see the work framed!

I've been an artist all my life. At the age when most kids abandon crayons for Game Boys, I upgraded to pastels. As a tween I served as entertainment at my parents' parties sketching portraits of the guests. My Summer jobs were drawing 15 minute, $5.00 charcoal portraits at local art fairs.

At Case Western Reserve University, I was accepted to a “Scholar’s Program” which allowed concurrent study at the Cleveland Institute of Art. The Institute was intense but here was an atmosphere of inclusion, interaction and wonder that I loved. I studied painting, printmaking and ceramics at CIA concurrently with the CWRU college curriculum. For me it was ideal.

After college, I got a teaching fellowship at SACI, an art school in Florence, Italy. There I taught, painted and studied print making, art history and Renaissance techniques. In my Florence studio, I created a series of large, expressive oil paintings, graphite and wash drawings, and prints. These were figurative works that explored the psychological and sociological aspects and essences of their subjects. At the local coffee bar I became very fond of the old men who frequented the place. When, at the age of 98, one of my friends died, I did an oil portrait of him. It was hung over the bar in memorial. The body of work I completed in Florence was exhibited in shows in Florence and also in the nearby town of Fiesole.

My time in Italy was one of tremendous creative growth (not to mention fabulous food, beautiful places and spirited Italian friends). Though leaving was difficult, I decided to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree and moved to the mecca of contemporary art, New York City. With one of the best MFA programs in the country, Pratt Institute was an obvious choice. At Pratt I studied with prominent NY artists, and enveloped myself in the NY art scene. My work in this period continued to focus on expressive figurative paintings and drawings which explored the ambiguous, complex and conflicted nature of human relationships.

One of my favorite sketching venues was the NY subway. My challenge was to finish a portrait sketch of a nearby traveler before they exited the train. One day an old Chinese man sat next to me. His face was full of such complexity of feeling. I stole furtive glances and sketched discreetly. He didn't give me notice. But suddenly his face became anxious and he turned to me, pointing urgently at the door. As the train slowed he pulled out a five dollar bill and gestured at the drawing. I gently pushed the money back to him and handed him the drawing. To my surprise and delight, he leant down and kissed my cheek before dashing through the closing doors.

After my MFA, I remained in New York. I signed on with a SOHO gallery as well as with one of the major galleries in Cleveland, Ohio.

Fast forward a few years and I'm still painting and showing my work. But it's very different work than in earlier periods. It has evolved into the abstracts you see here. Complexity and conflict are still prominent elements as are intricate relationships of color, light, line and shape.

Art is a very personal thing. I hope, for at least some of you, the work will be as exciting and stimulating as it is to me.

Please note:
1) Each device monitor displays color a bit differently, so the color you see online may not exactly match the print you receive. (This is true of everything you see online.) Be assured, no print leaves my studio until I'm 100% satisfied with the colors.

2) All my works are ©Carolyn Rie 2015. This means if you purchase my work you own only the physical piece. The artist owns and retains all rights to the image. You may not reproduce the image or use it for any commercial purpose.

Rie Art: Current Works

Rie Art: Photo Gallery