Carolyn Young Hisel (b. 1942) is a native of Lexington, Kentucky, where she has chosen to live for most of her life. Her family lived with her paternal grandparents and her Grandmother, a skillful artist, encouraged Carolyn to draw and paint at an early age. Her years before college were spent lost in admiration for the realistic, descriptive paintings done in previous centuries, her Grandmother Young's influences.
Her greatest influence during her four years at the University of Kentucky was a painter from New York named Frederic Thursz and she remembers those days as being something like living through a train wreck, as his passion for abstract expressionism and the power of contemporary painting came to her mind with shattering impact.
Debates about art theory and frequent museum trips roiled through those formative years and Carolyn came to respect modern art and to love the freedom of expression found there. Briefly she questioned her ability to be an artist outside of New York, and away from all that was happening in the art world there. Finally however, she found that she was unhappy unless she was painting, and unhappy away from home, so after settling down in Lexington again with her husband and two sons, her work began to explore the territory between abstraction and depiction, and the two influences have persisted throughout her career.
In her paintings, as you see here, abstraction is usually 'figurative' - or suggests the figure or the landscape, while her descriptive or narrative work is usually heavily flavored with the abstract.
Her work during the seventies and eighties was shown in many southeastern galleries and she won numerous awards and regional competitions, but preferring a quiet life in recent years she has focused on working steadily toward yearly gallery shows. A complete resume is available upon request.
Download Carolyn's Résumé