Carole Belliveau, fine art dolls to figures in landscape
My mother always told the story about me coming home from Kindergarten with a colored picture of a duck. She praised me for coloring within the lines only to find out from the teacher that I had drawn the duck myself. From that moment there was never any doubt that I was, and always would be an artist.
My parents nurtured my passion for art. They took me to the Metropolitan Opera House, Broadway Theater, and gave me exposure to art museums and the culture of New York City. Drawing became my favorite activity. I entered Parson’s School of Design’s Graphic Arts Department because it was the closest thing to Fine Art that I could afford at the time.
Later I moved to Boston where I was exposed to the Fine Art Doll world. I found artists there that created miniature people in doll form so I decided to try my hand at sculpture. That led to a twenty-five year career designing one-of-a-kind and limited edition dolls for the collector’s market which at that time was the most popular hobby in America. Dollmaker, The Eyelight and the Shadow was published by Scribner’s (ISBN: 0-684-17170-8) and focused on my creation of a portrait doll of my son.
I was not trained in sculpture or pattern design yet I developed a distinctive style and experimented with diverse mediums that led to many awards. Each year I introduced a new doll collection at the American International Toy Fair in New York City. I also designed toy concepts for notable firms like Marie Osmond Dolls, Hasbro, Coleco, Tyco and others.
In 1996, I moved to California where I found a new countryside of unlimited vistas, incandescent color, and an ocean full of drama and light. Suddenly I was attracted to landscape and it changed everything. I picked pastels as my medium and for a number of years successfully sold my work through galleries. As my vision progressed I realized more instruction was important to create the kind of work to which I aspired. I entered The Academy of Art University and graduated Cum Laude with a BFA. During this time I went back to oils and painted both the figure and landscapes with passion. After graduating, I joined several artist groups including Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters Association (MBPAPA) where I served on the board and as President. I was featured in the North Light publication Incite, Dreams Realized, The Best of Mixed Media. I recently moved to beautiful Santa Fe, NM. I won the Grand Prize in TRAC 2019 and I am a Signature member of American Women Artists (AWA), a member of PAPNM, and the Pleinarians of Santa Fe.
Children and women have always been my favorite subject, all-the-better if located in a landscape! My flair for portraiture has brought me full circle since even as a doll artist I wanted to portray the complexity of the human face. Artists have suggested that those dolls were my first taste of Mixed Media. My influences in painting the figure are strongly rooted in Renaissance and Iconic religious art. In those paintings the presentation of a gift is analogous to the creative act of making art. The formality and symbolism of the poses lend a gravitas to each image. Each piece is created to stand as both an object of beauty and a painting that relates to the larger human experience. Experiments in diverse materials fuel my inspiration and enable me to stay open to potential visual options. My passion for art has led to a life filled with possibilities.