We are thrilled to introduce you to the very talented and multifaceted artist, Carman Weathington. She began making jewelry as a creative outlet and since then has expanded her art to painting, drawing, collaging, sewing and handmade note cards. She is truly a woman who exudes creativity in everything she does. She intentionally looks for ways to create and express herself through art and that has manifested itself through many interesting mediums. It was an honor to talk to Ms. Weathington about her art and the inspiration and drive behind her art. We especially loved learning more about how arts education has impacted her life and also the ways in which she is giving back to young artists and arts teachers.
What is your art medium?
Almost everything! (Jewelry, Note Cards, Painting, Drawing, Sewing, Collage)
Why is your art important to you?
Wow! It's important because it's actually for me. It's something that inspires me, feeds my spiritual self and gives me an opportunity to express who I am and how I see the world. Also, it allows me to bring beauty to the world. Originally, I started painting to relax and now it really feeds me. If I don't do it for long periods of time I feel the difference in my energy. I think that creating is connected to grounding us and keeping us human and I think when we consume things it can destroy us in small ways. When we don't create anything, we don't have expression in the world. My art is about giving myself a place in the world to express and share myself.
What do you want your art to say?
That changes depending on what I'm working on. If I'm doing a series on birds, like I did last winter, it was my way of staying connected to nature. Through the birds I wanted to portray the serenity and beauty of nature. If I'm working on a series of portraits of women in my community, I want to honor their strength, love, pain, tenacity and power. So, it changes based on what my focus is at the time but all of my art is purposeful.
What project are you working on now?
Actually, I'm working on a series of dogs. I think they are very beautiful animals and they have enhanced our lives in beautiful ways. Also, I think they are funny, lighthearted and loyal and I want to honor the Year of the Dog in the Chinese zodiac. That was my inspiration for this series of drawings.
Who is your favorite artist?
Arthur Wright and Candace Hunter are a couple who live in Chicago and are both artists. Arthur is an illustrator and does a lot of art on canvas or paper around the rhythm of music. It's really interesting. Candace does a lot of social activism art. Her most recent one was on the lack of water in Africa. She focused on countries that are suffering from water issues. Another artist I love is Jeff Huntington. He created the mural on the exterior of my studio. He is an incredible, realistic artist. I like artists for various reasons but these are three of my favorite, local artists with very powerful work.
How has arts education impacted your life?
As a high school student, I had an art teacher, Mr. Smoot, who was passionate about art. It was one of my favorite classes. I also enjoyed Mr. Paulick, who taught classical music. I remember that I was able to connect art and music together because of these teachers. I could remember a piece of classical music by drawing the rhythm and the sound of the music. These classes made all of the other classes tolerable for me. I wanted to be a clothing designer when I was 18 but walked away from that because a school counselor told me that I wouldn't be able to make a living. She urged me to follow a business path and that's what I did. I didn't come back around to art until the age of 45.
Art teachers are so important because they can inspire students to pursue their art because art gives an outlet for creativity and expression. It is important to me that I also support other artists. To do this, I mentor young artists and encourage them to pursue their dreams. I will give them space in my studio to show their art. I purchase their art and spend time talking to them about how they can make a living as an artist. Additionally, I've connected with art teachers and have admired the impact that they have on children. So often kids' creativity is squashed and art teachers work in these very restrictive ways. They sometimes have a cart instead of a classroom and yet they still manage to teach a class. I am a huge supporter of art teachers and will often give a portion of my art sales to fund projects that they're working on with their classes.
To find out more about Carman Weathington, visit www.carmanweathington.com
Carman Weathington is a native Chicagoan whose family roots are in Natchez and Tupelo, Mississippi. She comes from a long line of “seers”, “prophets” and ministers. Born with a “veil” on her face, her mom told her that she was a special child, as the veil was considered to be a good omen; a blessing from God and the ancestors. Although Carman’s family was highly spiritual, education was something that they valued greatly. Carman received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from St. Xavier University and a Master’s degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Roosevelt University. However, Carman was always captivated by creativity, healing and counseling others. Carman has always been intuitive and had a “sixth sense” about people, places and things. After being away from the canvas for over 10 years, Carman rediscovered her love for art. In 2012, she fell in love with art all over again after completing a piece that was previously left unfinished and spending an entire summer painting. She describes her artistic process as “spiritually inspired”. Her work is conceptual; as people will interpret and feel myriad emotions when they experience it. Her desire is that her work will be a source of continual spiritual enlightenment, inspiration and healing for herself and all who view it. Carman is an Artist, Life Coach, Illinois Licensed Massage Therapist , Reiki & Reflexology Practitioner, Tarot Reader, and Jewelry and Note Card Designer. Her creativity continues to evolve. Carman plans to expand herself into the area of public speaking and life skills teaching/seminars.