Carol McQuaid loves the contemplation involved in capturing a scene. Honing her ability to document space with an early career in interior design and architectural rendering, her style is now looser and more immediate. She works primarily on location, carrying her watercolour sketchbook journals on her travels around her native Vancouver and on her frequent travel adventures abroad. Author of the book “On Keeping a Sketchbook Journal” and the art blog “Sketchalina’sWanderings,” she is a huge proponent of sketching as a way to wake up and really see the world around us. Urban elements such as signage and iconic structures appear frequently in her work, which she then translates to larger scale paintings and relief prints.
She was awarded an artist residency in 2010 at the Toni Onley Project in Wells, BC, and now does a residency somewhere in the world every year; most recently in Italy and Spain. She loves to go to a new city and capture her impression of it in a series of linocut prints with watercolour.
“I love the drama of relief printmaking; the physical act of carving the plates and pulling the prints. I was torn between this and using watercolour to convey a sense of atmosphere, until it occurred to me that I could combine them both in a single image.”
Her hope is to instill in the viewer a sense of being there, seeing a familiar scene through borrowed eyes, and sharing an emotional response to these places people inhabit every day.