The art of watercolor on display at Longbranch

By Chase Myers

Watercolor painting may trigger an elementary school memory where the paint mixture often ended up on clothes rather than paper.

Artist Carolyn Hollabaugh uses the same materials on a professional level to create intricate landscapes and moments.

Hollabaugh will be holding an art exhibit at Longbranch Café and Bakery from Sept. 30 through Nov. 10, emphasizing her work as a watercolor artist.

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Hollabaugh began creating watercolor paintings in the ‘70s while living in Dallas.

“When I first started pursuing art classes actively, watercolor was the first thing I learned to do,” Hollabaugh said. “I never wanted to [paint] anything else since.”

Hollabaugh spent much of her time as a nurse, supporting her family and herself, limiting her time to paint, she said.

“I went quite a long time without doing much actively,” she said. “Then when I retired I thought ‘okay, time to start in again.’”

She said one of the aspects of the art she enjoys is the freedom watercolor painting allows.

“It is really fun to see what happens when the paint hits the paper and the water mixes with it,” she said. “You can go as far as you want with it. You can be real loose and suggestive or you can be real tight and literal.”

The landscapes of the area remind her of her hometown of Springfield, Ohio, and provide some inspiration for her artwork, she said.

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“There’s a painting at every corner you turn,” she said.

She said she gets inspired every time she approaches a new show because of the accumulation of pieces she has created over the years and what goes into preparing them.

She does all of the framing for her art herself.

Longbranch has become a respected gallery space in Carbondale and typically showcases a different regional artist every six weeks, Elaine Ramseyer, general manager of Longbranch, said.

“It very much exposes the artist’s work to the greater community and that’s a real plus,” she said.

In the café’s earlier years, the number of art exhibits was limited because the space was not commonly known for its art displays, she said.

The café and bakery has recently become a popular space for local art and the café gallery space is booked into 2016, Ramseyer said.

Hollabaugh was originally scheduled for an exhibit in 2016, but because of recent schedule changes, she is able to showcase her work this fall.

The Longbranch tries to showcase a variety of artists for their exhibits, Ramseyer said.

“I show really eclectic pieces. Kids who have never had a show before I will put up, but Carolyn is a mature, seasoned artist,” she said.

Ramseyer said she emphasizes the importance of art in the community by scheduling such exhibits.

“I love art. I just think it’s so important to a happy life,” she said. “If you don’t think you need art, try living without it.”

Chase Myers can be reached at [email protected]on Twitter @chasemyers_DE or at 536-3311 ext. 273

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