Her Portraits, Her Preference

Story by Tabatha Duvall

In 2005, Russellville resident Carol Watson’s daughter, Carman Stump, suggested the pair take an oil painting class with Arden Boyce, a popular Russellville artist. They took that 10-week course, and the painting bug bit Watson.

Since that course, Carol has taken several workshops with Arkansas artists, including Bill Garrison and Barry Thompson, and continues to paint for both recreation and commission. While she enjoys painting portraits of children, her subject of choice happens to be pets.

Some of Carols’s first paintings were her daughter’s border collies, Bailey and Jack, followed by her Brittany’s, Halle and Merri. She focused mainly on pets because not only does she love animals, she is able to understand their personalities and portray them on the canvas.

Pets are a part of people’s families, just like children, and they want portraits of them, too,” said Watson of her choice to paint animals.

She always spends time with her subjects before painting them to get to know them and observe their personalities. She takes her own photographs of the subjects and uses them along with her memories of the subject to create the portrait, making sure every detail is just right. The hardest part to perfect: the eyes.

While the portraits are currently only on display at Russellville Animal Clinic, Carol also has had her paintings on view at the River Valley Arts Center, The Frame Shop and Gallery, Art Etc. and during the quarterly Downtown Russellville Artwalk. She hopes to have them in more establishments, some out of the local market area, soon.

A Morrilton native, Carol moved with her husband Norman to Russellville in 1971 where they opened and ran a popular men’s store, Norman’s Inc. Men’s Apparel, until 2007.

For more information about her paintings or to request a portrait, contact Carol by calling (479) 968-6413 or send her an email to: carolwatsonartist@yahoo.com.

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