Karolyn Farrell Fine Art
Karolyn McMillan Farrell had no formal training in art until she entered college at Mo State University, although she had won awards in painting at the age of eight and earlier for entries in MO Conservation and 4-H competitions. She remembers one incident in which her father obliging and repeatedly scaled a backyard fence with a rifle while she sketched. This poster won the state monetary award for the eight year old.
Her first work in college, a charcoal drawing of her grandfather’s dilapidated barn impressed her instructor so much that he suggested she immediately pack for a New York Art School. This suggestion was given consideration, but a relative recommended she secure a conventional college education and pursue art as an avocation. Farrell followed that advice, although as a concession to her passion for art, she integrated art study into her education.
Upon moving to AR she taught art at the Rock Street Gallery and completed her Master’s and Educational Specialist in Adult Education, with emphasis on creativity and the older adult.
She recently retired as Director of the Fayetteville School District’s Adult and Community Education program were she fostered art in the community by hiring art teachers for adult and children’s classes, as well as teaching and painting as time permitted.
She feels it a privilege to be able to sell art and feels gratefulness when winning awards. She donates art frequently to charitable nonprofits and was a charter member of Artists of Northwest AR. She was the Washington Co community trustee for the AR ARTS Center and has been active in visual arts programs of Walton Arts Center.
Her paintings can be found in medical, corporate, private and other offices around the USA and elsewhere. She tends to focus on bright colors in nature around her mountainside home and in her travels. She is moved by the landscapes and citiscapes in various light patterns. She hopes these images bring happiness and serenity to her clients and viewers. Farrell sees art and an appreciation of it as an essential part of a complete education. The act of creating a piece of art is as she quotes Robert Henri, author of The Art Spirit, who says “the arts were developed to allow us to capture and recall moments of our greatest happiness and of our greatest wisdom.” Farrell is grateful to our great Creator. One of her greatest joys is when a client is so overwhelmed by a commissioned piece that he or she breaks into tears of joy and later relates how much beauty and peacefulness or happiness the art brings. Art critics say they enjoy the “intensity of her work as well.
Farrell wrote and directed grants through the Levi Foundation, the National Office of Aging, the AR Arts Council, etc. A video “Bridging the Gap” was produced and disseminated internationally depicting intergenerational art activities as a result of these grants.
She is listed in Who’s Who among Women Internationally in America and in the South. She is a signature member of the Artists of Northwest AR, (successfully juried into 6 or more multistate shows), a member of Oil Painters of America, Mid America Pastel Society, Portrait Society of America, Plein Air Painters of the Ozarks, Pastel Society of the Ozarks, National Museum of Women in the Arts, etc.
She is thankful for the great teachers with whom she has studied and the fellowship of fellow artists.