Carrie Pearce was born in Peoria, IL in 1969. She has been drawing and painting as long as she can remember. Her earliest memories include a Walt Disney light-up table and asking her mom to draw her pictures as she described them to her. Carrie's first major inspiration came from Ann Adams, an artist who drew with a pencil between her teeth. At the age of 6, Carrie was amazed at her ability, and tried to duplicated her drawings with and without pencil in her teeth. Carrie attended the Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia where she graduated with honors. In 2007, Upon seeing DaVinci’s portrait of Ginevra de’ Benci, she declared, “I want to paint like that”. Her paintings can be described as imaginary realism. Although dedicated to the 16th Century techniques of the Masters, she also finds room for the occasional scribble, inspired by children’s drawings. Pearce describes her work as emotional portraits rather than portraits of people. The people are inspired by turn of the century photos that she finds at antique stores and estate sales.
Carrie's work has been featured both nationally and internationally. She is a "Living Artist" with the Art Renewal Center, a website dedicated to revival of realism in fine art. Recently, has been announced as 1 of 10 finalists for the $50,000 Bennett Prize.
I Make Shit Up, Is That Too Harsh? An Artist Statement by Carrie Pearce
The underpinning of my work is the story. I guess you could say I am a “Story Painter of Half-truths”. I aim to create an image that has never been seen through Imaginary Realism. I enjoy digging stories out of my brain and creating a new world on the plane of two-dimensional panel.
Everything has a story, every person, animal and object came from somewhere and carries it’s history like a ghost. Perhaps, this is why I am drawn to the haunting, turn of the century photos for my subjects. Where did you come from? What became of you? What do you want to be when you grow up? They rarely answer...
My enjoyment in the creation of art lies in the making of... “making shit up”. (BTW I am tired of being PC.) So, you will see people, wildlife, and still-life paintings aimed to entertain you and convey events real or imagined through images, improvisation, and embellishment.