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A Lifelong Love of the Outdoors Inspires Carol Bingham's Richly Hued Landscapes

DAYBREAK ON THE SOUTHFORK by Carol Bingham; oil on canvas (height 50 inches, width 32 inches, depth 2 inches); The view is from a bridge above the south branch of the Kishwaukee River running through DeKalb County, IL. The patterns created by the sky, water, and foliage are what caught Carol's eye. Scroll down to see more artwork...

Out of all the proficiencies Carol Bingham has in oil, acrylic, watercolor, and mixed media, oil is by far her favorite medium with collage a close second.

“I love the luminosity of oil paint, and how you can apply multiple layers for textural effects,” she explains. “I’ve always been drawn to the luminist movement, along with the naturalism found in the Hudson River School artists, and the work of Andrew Wyeth.”

Growing up near the Starved Rock area of Illinois, loving landscapes comes naturally to her. As a child, she could readily be found enjoying the woods and river ways near her home or canoeing down the Vermillion River with her dad.

Carol returned to school as an older student to study art formally receiving a BFA in illustration from Northern Illinois University. Here she learned traditional techniques along with narrative and story-telling. She’s especially drawn to the study of light in landscapes and atmospheric effects such as the quickly changing light of dawn and dusk.

Although she worked in the medical field and enjoyed the study of biology, keeping art in her life was always a separate endeavor that added peace and beauty to her days. There’s problem solving involved in each painting she embarks upon where she asks herself questions revolving around capturing the image the way she’d like to present it.

“I become totally immersed in the painting I’m working on,” Carol notes. “As I lay down color, the painting teaches me what to do next and leads its artistic direction.”

Landscapes she paints are primarily within 10 miles of her Sycamore, IL home. She likes driving around looking at how the light and the weather affect the land in all seasons. Often, she’ll spot something in her rearview mirror that makes her turn around and take a photograph to work from later. She estimates that she currently has about 20,000 photographs carefully categorized by subject matter.

“Art has always been a part of me,“ she says. “And now that I’m retired, I have the time to explore and paint every day. I’m not in it for the business, but for the love of it.”

On April 22, 2023 she will be at the Sycamore Public Library all day as part of their Ask the Artist program where she will be doing demonstration painting. In late June 2023, she will be teaching her first oil painting classes in Kishwaukee Valley Art League’s Gallery on State in Sycamore, IL. Visit her website at: Home | Carol Bingham Fine Art

THE GRASS WHISPERS THE WIND'S PATH; oil on canvas (height 36", width 48 inches, depth 2 inches). This open field at dusk is a painting inspired by a haiku written by Gabby Short, Grade 7, Atlanta, GA. The 2021 winner of The Nicholas A. Virgilio Memorial Haiku and Senryu competition for Grades 7-12 reads:

harvest moon

corn whispers

the wind's path

THE SECOND HOUSE ON THE LEFT; oil on canvas (height 18 inches, width 36 inches, width 2 inches). The farmhouse is located on Henderson Road just north of Sycamore, IL. Carol spotted the house on the hill in her rear-view mirror as she was driving home one afternoon. Rural directions often consist only of description of what is seen and the mind records.

NOT A DROP OF RAIN; oil on canvas (height 24 inches, width 36 inches, depth 1.5 inches). On a dry summer day, dark clouds moved over the fields, but not a drop of rain.

The artist, CAROL BINGHAM, enjoying work at her easel.


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