Posted: March 18, 1999
A serious illness eight years ago inspired Carol van Ravenswaay to rededicate herself to her art.
Now, she's just months from earning her master's degree at CSUS. She's one of two graduate art students to be honored at the recent Student Awards Show. And she's getting a solo showing of her work at the CSUS Witt Gallery, which opens March 23 and continues through April 10.
It's been a good final semester for van Ravenswaay, who holds degrees in English and French but never before studied art at the university level.
Like many CSUS art students, van Ravenswaay paints in an abstract style, often working at her home in Jackson.
Many of her oil and watercolors are inspired by nature, particularly water, and she uses compact, circular marks and curving brush strokes help blur the lines between objects and space. She's especially influenced by Vermeer and the Dutch landscape painters of the early 18th century.
She says she flourished under the creative freedom provided at CSUS.
"What has been so nice about studying here is that the whole art faculty gives you feedback, and they all have different styles and philosophies," she says. "You aren't limited by one or two points of view."
After graduating, van Ravenswaay plans to volunteer more often teaching art in elementary schools. She has previously served on the Amador County School District Arts Curriculum Committee and on the county's Arts Council.
She also plans to continue working at the Amador-Tuolume County Community Action Agency, a public non-profit which coordinates low income programs.
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