Carolyn Burt

About the Artist:
Carolyn Burt was born and raised in Tacoma where she currently still lives with her husband. Her two children are grown and she is a grandmother of three. She received a B.A. and M.Ed. from the University of Puget Sound where she studied French, Art, English, and Education Administration. Spending a year in France, she attended the Ecole Regionale Des Beaux Arts and the L’Universite’ de Rennes in Rennes, France, and traveled extensively around Europe.

Her career in art began in the 1970’s when she opened an art shop, The Sketch Pad, in Gig Harbor, Washington. There, she specialized in custom pen and ink drawings of people’s boats and gave private drawing and watercolor lessons. However, after marrying, she sold her shop and began her career in education at Puyallup High School where she taught painting, drawing, crafts, and textile design, French, and English. Later, she also taught at the middle school level and 5th grade, and was a middle school assistant principal and principal before retiring. After a long hiatus, she is back pursuing her art goals.

Carolyn is the founder and creator of Proctor Art Gallery. She passed the torch on to Pamela Phelps after she was no longer able to continue due to health issues.

Carolyn specializes in scratchboard, but also works in watercolors, acrylics, pen and ink, pastels and photography. Her focus is mostly local scenes and wildlife, but includes some subjects from her travels. She prefers to depict the realistic beauty of nature and the world around us.

Carolyn has won numerous awards over the years and her work is in private collections world-wide.

What Is Scratchboard?
Scratchboard is reminiscent of the intricate hand carving of scrimshaw and developed in the late 19th century in Europe. Similar to scrimshaw, each carefully engraved piece is one of a kind.

The process of scratchboard art begins with a hard board panel coated with a smooth layer of white china clay, an ingredient of porcelain. The white layer of clay is covered with a black layer of India ink and dried. The artist using engraving tools carefully scratches away the layer of black to expose the white. A variety of specialized tools and knives are used to engrave fine lines or scrape away larger areas of white clay to create textures and patterns which develop into an image. To add color, one must first scrape white and then carefully paint in special scratchboard ink or watercolor only on the white and then re-scratch over and over to achieve the shades and highlights of color. Once complete, the hand-engraved piece is sealed with a protective clear varnish. After sealing, it becomes like a tile and the black will no longer scratch off.

Scratchboard is a pricise and exacting medium, unforgiving– with no room for error. It requires a great deal of skill, precision and patience. The intricate detail, vivid contrast, and wonderful texture produce a dramatic effect. It makes each of these hand carved originals a one-of-a-kind jewel to collect and treasure for years to come.


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