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About Carol Lutgen

 Carol Lutgen was born in Alexandria, Minnesota, and grew up on a nearby  dairy farm. She had a simple childhood that was filled with hard work,  family, and reliance on the volatile forces of nature. "So many aspects  of farm life were dictated by the weather," Carol says. "Hail could wipe  out a field of corn, for example." As a child, Carol herself was a  force to be reckoned with. She first discovered her creative side at  four years old, when she took a pair of scissors to her little sister's  hair and created her first unique masterpiece. After that first fateful  haircut, she went on to become a hairdresser and salon owner — a career  she thrived in for 20 years. 

A love of Art

 

After raising a family in the Twin Cities area, Carol and her husband  moved to Florida, where she began taking her first art classes. She had  always loved and collected art, and she enjoyed learning to create it  in various media, beginning with watercolors.

From there, Carol Lutgen went on to study with a number of artists,  including Barrett Edwards, Douglas Flynt, Dan Petrov, and Clara Berta.  Each of these artists influenced her technique and love for painting,  but it wasn't until she studied under James Scherbarth that she  discovered her true passion: oil and cold wax. "Something about the  texture and the way the oil is applied with a palette knife just spoke  to me, and I find I cannot paint enough!" Carol says. Carol Lutgen has adopted the unique techniques she learned from  Scherbarth and made them her own, creating rich, textural abstracts. "I  apply numerous layers of the mixture of oil pigment and cold wax," she  explains. "Some layers are opaque and some transparent. Some layers are  scraped, marked, scratched, removed with a palette knife either in a  semi-dry or dry state, then more layers added. I let the painting speak  to me and feel a little bit like an archaeologist as I am uncovering and  searching for what is underneath and how the layers react to previous  layers." Because she works in so many layers, Carol's paintings can take  weeks or even months to finish, but she believes the final result is  worth the long process.

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The Creative Process

 

When she is trying to decide what to paint, Carol looks for something  she can connect to deeply and stay interested in through the long  creation process. She finds inspiration in nature, water, the four  seasons, colors and textures that excite her, and photographs she takes  on her travels. She also finds inspiration in the work of her favorite  artists, who include Monet, O'Keefe, Picasso, and Klimt. Carol belongs to the Center for Visual Arts in Bonita Springs,  Florida. Her art was on display at the center's Members Only Juried  Exhibition in February 2018. Viewers have described Lutgen's work as  "mystical," "ethereal," and "mesmerizing."

Personal Life

 Carol now lives and paints in Bonita Springs, Florida, for nine months  of the year, spending the summers in Minnesota. When she is not  painting, she enjoys world travel and gourmet cooking. She is also the  volunteer president of the Hope Honduras Foundation, which is a  nonprofit charity that feeds and educates children in Pinelejo,  Honduras. "These children live in Third World living conditions, and  often their only meal for the day is the one we provide for them at  school," Carol Lutgen says. She supports this cause passionately and is  happy to devote much of her time and resources to it. 

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Do What You Love

 There is a creative spark inside everyone, and Carol believes that it is  important to "do what you love" and "do it with love!" This mantra has  helped guide her through her journey as she has discovered her own path  to creativity. Her artistic mission is "to take the viewer to their own  personal time and space, where a pleasant memory or thought is brought  to mind while looking at a painting I have created. Taking them on a  journey, so to speak...and a personal one at that."