Denise Carey, born in Buffalo, New York, always had art supplies at hand while growing up. It was inevitable that she would study design at New York State College at Buffalo. She moved to Canada for three years while her husband went to college for recording engineering and then to Southern California with their young daughter in 1978. After working as an art director for a bi-monthly magazine in Newport Beach, she went on to designing menus for numerous restaurant chains with the W.R. Grace Company. In 1983 when her husband received a new position in the Bay Area they moved to San Mateo where she 'went out on her own' as a graphic designer. She has received awards for many of her logo and promotional designs.
Moving to new homes always presented new opportunities. When her oldest daughter went to the University of Minnesota for interior design she decided to do the same at West Valley College in Saratoga, California. Another career materialized as well as teaching Graphic Techniques and Drafting at West Valley after graduating from the Interior Design program in 2001.
Now retired and living in Santa Barbara, she was presented with the opportunity to pursue her life-long ambition of painting. Instruction at Santa Barbara City College Adult Ed and online classes with accomplished artists have provided more foundation.
I start every painting with a feeling of abandon. It doesn’t matter what goes onto the canvas or panel. I can play for hours and then step back to see what I’ve created – usually a mess! Then I set to work problem solving to make sense of the chaos. The idea that our lives are often a turbulent adventure but we muddle through is the basis for my artistic journey.
I am a designer with a passion for art. The tenets of the design process are engraved on my soul because of my past experience as a graphic designer and an interior designer. That process serves as my guiding light.
I use acrylic and mixed media to create layers of structure and order with rectilinear, curvilinear and abstract shapes over a jumble of color to draw the viewer into the interior of the painting. My encaustic work plays with opaque and transparent layers to create a feeling of depth. My hope is that each viewer will spend a moment to reflect on the many layers that define my work.