by Bonnie Rusinko
WAXHAW – Raised in the small farming community of Hazen, Arkansas, Carmen Davidson proudly proclaims her heritage of Scots-Irish, Welsh and Native American. She attributes this heritage to her artistic talent and love of the soil and sky.
She never tired of watching the ever-changing sky with shadows and light dancing across the vast fields of the farms. Carmen was happy in Hazen and heartbroken when her parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee, but she quickly adjusted to her new surroundings.
She remembers watching her dad drawing doodles, using numbers, especially the number six, to create character faces. Carmen told her dad that she wanted to be an artist.
Her grandmother, thinking this was a fleeting whim and Carmen would quickly tire of the task, gave her a paint-by-number set with two paintings tucked inside to work on. When Carmen completed the task and asked for more, her grandmother gladly provided the money to send Carmen to an art school for private art lessons.
From the fifth grade until she graduated high school, her father would drive the 40 miles every Saturday for these lessons, not once complaining. Carmen hated not being with her friends, yet, loved her new world of art.
Her art took a backseat once she enrolled at Memphis State University to study biology. When Carmen married, she left school to raise her two daughters.
Eighteen years later, she returned to school, majored in printmaking and art and graduated with a fine art degree. Carmen said her graduation was one of the happiest moments of her life because her father was there and for the first time, she felt like he truly saw her as a person and artist.
After visiting an old friend in Taos, New Mexico, she fell in love with the southwestern landscapes and beautiful skies and soon left Memphis for Albuquerque. She couldn’t wait to bring her paintbrushes out to capture on canvas the beauty that surrounded her. She felt energized and alive as she gazed at the sky, mountains and mesas. She enjoyed painting outside in the natural light with nature at her fingertips and soon became an avid plein air artist (one who paints outside).
For 20 years, she painted the colors of the southwest until she met John Davidson, an old schoolmate, fell in love and moved to join and marry him in Waxhaw.
Carmen was apprehensive and scared to leave her beloved New Mexico, but the charm of Waxhaw reminded her so much of Hazen and her childhood memories that she immediately felt right at home.
Carmen enjoys all mediums from oils to acrylic inks. She constantly seeks new avenues, styles and materials to express her love of art. She is currently focused on abstract art and the challenge to paint what you feel, not what you see.
No matter what medium or style she creates, she just wants people who view her work to feel connected to her expression of art.
Want to learn more?
Carmen Davison is a member of the Waxhaw Artist Council. She is often featured in Maxwell’s Art Window. Call 704-996-3576 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about her artwork.