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 Carol Ann Rasmussen  (1941 - )

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Lived/Active: Colorado/Montana      Known for: sculpture, painting, folk art

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
Illusions of Spring time, ink wash on Yupo paper, 12 " x 10"
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Carol Ann Rasmussen, b.1941 -

Sculptor/painter/folk artist, colorist
Mediums: clay, glazes, alcohol ink wash
Styles: stylized realism, humoristic and surreal fantasy

Sculptor Carol Ann Rasmussen is known for creating recognizable subjects stylized through the use of repetitive patterns, constructing unique forms based on nature. She has learned to convey the essence of form through use of powerful shapes, contrasting colors, with unexpected twists, that unify the composition. Her sculpture is known for a series of dogs, fish and birds, whereas her paintings tend toward surreal landscapes, occasionally interspersed with fanciful botanicals. The paintings reveal jewel-like colors of high intensity which have been washed on to a specially glossed matrix material upon which the alcohol inks flow into one another. Rasmussen is a pioneer in this art form.

Rasmussen can be described as an artist heavily influenced by travel. She was born in Missoula, Montana in 1941, and left home at the age of 18, spending the next two years exploring the cosmopolitan atmosphere of San Francisco, CA. She moved back to Montana and married Dave Rasmussen, a mining engineer. Carol Ann and Dave started a family in Butte.

Carol Ann soon followed her husband and his work to South America. After working for two years in Chile, they returned to the U.S. and settled on an Indian Reservation near Laguna, NM, where they lived for the next seven years. It was here that Rasmussen became interested in art - folk art in particular - being attracted by her environment and the native people's culture. Her handcrafted arts became a local hit, and the Smithsonian requested one of her modified patterns be displayed in the national museum.

The Rasmussen family later moved to Carlsbad where Carol Ann studied various arts and gave lectures at the New Mexico State University branch on the psychology of color. Other moves followed to Colorado and Virginia, and then to Las Vegas, Nevada. It was here she was first introduced to clay and studied under Tom Coleman for the next six years while developing her interests in glazes and formulating her own coloring styles. Coleman and his work had a major influence in her life. In a personal interview, Rasmussen commented on his teaching philosophy: "Tom taught me to be self-expressive - and I am able to do that without a lot of formal training."

In 2004, she and her husband settled in the mountains of western Colorado. Since that time she's increased her studies in clay sculpting under the tutelage of Daphna Russell at her studio in the small town of Cedaredge. "I was at home with color," she says. "I was always looking for my niche. The art world is the place where I fit. I belong here."

While living in Cedaredge, Rasmussen developed her own methods of ink painting; a type of alcohol wash and overlay of colored inks that respond in unusual patterns on specially treated paper. In her artist's brochure, she points out that "color has always been my passion whether I am making sculpture or pottery in clay, or painting in alcohol inks. Alcohol inks have given me another avenue for introducing an array of color in a two dimensional form of art."

Rasmussen has displayed her work at the Coleman Studio in Las Vegas, NV and at the Foothills Art Center in Golden, CO. She was also juried into the Contemporary Clay Biennial 2008 Exhibit at the Art Center in Grand Junction, CO. In regional art exhibits, Carol Ann's art pieces have won a number of awards and received critical acclaim.

In her artist's brochure, Rasmussen writes: "My feelings are externalized in the making of works of art that express my joy of using color and/or humor as a vehicle to enjoy the best parts of my day. I first experienced this joy of color in a class at the University of Montana with Rudy Audio, mixing the pigments on my palette, realizing there are no limits to the experience of color. Later I found expression in the chemistry of glazes and texture working with clay. I celebrate my life in making art."

Carol Ann Rasmussen's work is currently on exhibit at The Stonehenge, in Georgetown, CO; Around the Corner in Montrose, CO, and The Creamery Art Center, Hotchkiss, CO.

Personal interview at the artist' studio in Cedaredge, CO, on 28/10/09, and from the artist's own brochure titled: Carol Ann Rasmussen: clay and fine art

Written and submitted by Ron Kop, art collector and writer

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