We first met Carly last year when she gave us a tour of her art studio in Jupiter, FL. We instantly connected with her energy and fun outlook on life, and knew she was someone who had found the Good Life.
“There are a lot of people in Palm Beach who are seeking a community to join—more farmer’s markets, community classes, pop-up shops and group meetings. There’s a lot more interest in creating community,” Carly told us. It’s this sense of community that makes finding inspiration for her work so easy. Colors spill from every corner, whether you’re checking out an art festival, window shopping on Worth Ave, relaxing at The Breakers or adventuring out on the water.
Carly’s artwork focuses on the underwater world she’s been drawn to her whole life as a Florida native, combining new ocean scenes with recycled nautical charts.
“When I was in art school, I mainly did portraits, figures, people—the usual stuff. When I came back home I realized that I really cared about the ocean, so I started painting more marine life. Unlike people, they don’t complain about what they look like!” she told us. “Then, my friend’s dad had all these nautical charts that he was trying to get rid of. I painted something on one of them and I realized how cool it is to connect what I’m painting with the chart. For me, the real fun is just to go with the flow and see what happens. It’s a really freeing experience.”
Carly has always been drawn to the ocean. When she started working the nautical charts into her art, it all clicked. “The art just seemed to make sense,” she said. “This is how I connect with marine life—on the charts there are all the natural landforms, and it shows how we separate everything with lines and bars and numbers. I try to make a connection between the rigidity of the numbers and the natural elements of the painting. It allows us to think about how we cohabitate with nature.”
For Carly, nature plays a huge role not only in her artwork, but in her everyday life. “I like to do anything that has to do with the,” she told us. “I took up spearfishing when I first moved back to FL, and that’s really fun because I had done it as a kid and I love diving. I’ve always loved surfing and having the time off in the afternoon to go and do that is really important.”
And as Carly’s family has grown, she’s now experiencing the natural world with her two favorite exploring partners—her sons. “Now that I have two little boys, having ‘extra time’ is pretty much a thing of the past,” She told us with a laugh. “I love taking my family to the parks, hanging out on the beach. We just try to stay outdoors, which is easy to do in Florida.”
“When I was painting before this series, what I loved about it was seeing my goals realized, having an image in my head and creating it. I’ve always enjoyed that part of it,” Carly told us. “But now it’s more about living in the moment—realizing that I haven’t taken a break for 6 hours because I’ve been painting and I’m really into it. The only other thing I’ve experienced like that is surfing. You’re so in tune with what’s going on when you’re out there, waiting for the wave. Painting on the chart is like that—everything is a surprise. I can sit down with a goal and something can happen in the midst of it. It’s kinda like life, ya know? It’s all about trying to balance what you’re doing and living in the moment. It’s nice to experience that as an artist.”