What do a California orange, citrus and avocado “ranch”, Pacific Northwest landscapes, and the Arizona desert have in common? It’s Guemes Island resident, Carol Steffy! These varied backdrops have been the inspiration for her watercolors, acrylics, pen and ink drawings, and sculptures.
Carol studied Fine Art and Illustration at California State University at Long Beach; painting and sculpture at Claremont Graduate School; and ceramic and bronze sculpture with Betty Davenport Ford in Claremont, CA before coming to the Pacific Northwest. In 1990, Carol came to Guemes Island to work for Phil McCracken, noted Washington sculptor, fell in love with Guemes, and retired here in 2011. She also studied with Louise Smith at the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture. Currently, she is a member of Anacortes Sketchers (a local sketching and watercolor group) and Seattle’s Northwest Watercolor Society.
On Guemes, watercolor painting has taken the lead in art pursuits for Carol. She favors it due to the portability and quick drying characteristics – a natural medium for a traveling artist. Her watercolors are spontaneous expressions of landscapes, flowers, and wildlife encountered on sketching trips. Her subjects include the outdoors, animal and bird life, plants, flowers, and landscapes. Carol’s artistic styles range from the abstract to botanical illustration and she has no trouble capturing everything from the cerulean blue skies and abundant sunshine of California to the gray, spitting skies of the PNW.
Carol belonged to a creative group of artists, R.A.C.O. (Raku Artists of Central Oregon), who specialized in firing with the Japanese glazing and firing technique. A highlight for Carol was to be juried into the High Desert Museum show each year.
In addition to raising a family, her life’s work has included stints as a pre-K teacher, graphics designer, and ceramic designer. We are lucky to have this wonderful and multi-talented artist call our little island her home.