My passion as a California plein air colorist is to express how conditions of light transform colors of the waterfront and vineyards. On the coast near my longtime Sausalito studio I explore special times of the day when waves, clouds, and atmosphere create visual drama. I use layers of oil paint washes under thick brush strokes. My intention is to find places that have physical beauty, but also totemic value, a certain wildness, that tell the essence and story of California.
Ms. Carlson received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin and did postgraduate study at the San Francisco Art Institute in painting. She served as a board member of the Marin Arts Council for five years and curated Art Exhibitions at the Concordia Argonaut Club in San Francisco. She held the position of art critic at City Celebration Newspaper in San Francisco and was president of Sight/Insight Art Center in Mill Valley, California. Kay co- founded Marin Open Studios in 1993 to increase the public’s awareness and appreciation of local artists and currently serves as the executive director of Marin Open Studios.
She offers custom commissions to collectors, and is also an art instructor.
Her work has been exhibited widely in many private, corporate, and university collections in Spain, Italy, New York, Los Angeles, Oregon and California.