- Associated Press - Sunday, May 7, 2017

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) - Artist Carol Griffin always dabbled in art, but her profession was as a neonatal nurse practitioner.

“I actually was trained in . the medical field,” she said. ” .. I had a very busy career. I retired because I had a small child.”

And that’s when her artistic career began.

Griffin said because she had a little more time, she took up art.

“I just got into it and in the past 10 years, I’ve taken it really more seriously,” she said.

“More seriously” meant attending various workshops with tops artists in the country.

Then she went outside of the country, France and Italy to be exact, and took her art with her.

“We’ve always traveled a lot, my husband and I,” she said. “And I paint wherever we go.”

Griffin explained she visited France two years in a row and then Italy two years in a row. This year, she will travel to Ireland.

“I am painting in an international art event in Wexford, Ireland,” she said. “So that’s going to be my European art experience this year.”

While she does travel abroad, she also makes time for her artistic endeavors in Georgia. She paints at her studio behind her home in Macon.

“I have a studio out back in the woods in the back of my house that is very serene and very conducive to creating,” she said. “I love spending time there.”

Griffin explained the inspiration behind her art is her love of the outdoors and being able to “get in the environment.”

“I love to go out and try to take lots and lots of information and condense it into a painting that has designs and that actually engages the viewer,” she said. “My goal in a painting is to kind of get you into the painting and led you around and let you finish the painting.”

Area residents can see some of her work on display at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center as part of its Spring Exhibitions in Gainesville. Her work will be on display at the Quinlan through June 3.

Griffin describes her style is “impressionistic,” which allows the viewer gets to participate in the painting.

“I guess after you paint for a while it’s kind of like your handwriting,” she said. “You have your own particular style and people can usually look at your art and tell who did that. And that’s what you want. You want people to identify your work when they see a piece.”

As for her pieces at the Quinlan, Griffin said her inspiration came from the North Georgia mountains.

“We have a house in North Georgia, and (we) spend some time there and love going out and seeing the creeks and the waterfalls and things like that,” she said. “When you’re out there painting, you experience your surroundings, because you’re standing there painting for so long and (you) take in all the sights and smells and part of that even goes into your work. You just try to grasp your whole environment and that’s kind of what happened with these pieces. That was my inspiration.”

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