Carolyn Letvin


Why Sheep? I’ve been painting Jacob sheep for 18 years. When I began, I had no idea that they would engage me as a visual subject for such a long time. As when I started painting them, I get a charge from the results of the combination of my hand, the medium and the subject. One thing that has evolved through the making of them is that I’ve mostly eliminated any identifiable background. The flat color background accentuates the negative space of the composition, which the sheeps’ horns, legs and body positions create in endless ways.

Sheep are often one of the first images we see in our lives. Think of all the nursery rhymes and children’s stories that involve or are about sheep. In my case, one of my very first memories is of painted wooden cut-outs of Little Bo Peep and her sheep that my mother had hanging above my crib. I can envision that room and how that “art” was hung to this day. Maybe you, too, have some kind of formative vision in your mind about sheep. Or maybe you connect with them for another reason. Either way, my hope is to engage those who view my sheep paintings on some artistic or emotional level.

 Why Interiors? I find interior spaces to be engaging and compelling. There’s a “lost in time” sense about the rooms that calls to me, which I believe is the essence of their allure for me and others. In the book, “The Poetics of Space,” French philosopher, Gaston Bachelard, analyzes domestic spaces and how they shape and hold our dreams and memories. “Houses and rooms; cellars and attics; drawers, chests, and wardrobes; nests and shells; nooks and corners: No space is too vast or too small to be filled by our thoughts and our reveries.”

I do all of my interior paintings in the actual space. I like to stretch the definition of “plein air” by including these works in that category – even though I’m inside, I do usually have windows and doors open. I deal with many of the same hurdles that painting outdoors creates, like changing light and visual editing of the subject. Ultimately, I strive not for the simple recording of the environment, but for a level of transformation, which, to me, must take place for any work to be good art.

Current Gallery Representation
• Galatea Fine Arts, Boston, MA
• Gallery Twist (formerly Gallery Blink), Lexington, MA
• Lauren Clark Fine Art, Great Barrington, MA
• Gallery Wright Studio, Wilmington, VT
• Hudson Art & Framing, Hudson, MA
• Alpers Fine Art, Andover, MA
• O GO Gallery, Boston, MA

Professional Affiliations
• Board President, Monotype Guild of New England
• Member, Concord Art, Concord, MA
• Member, Hopkinton Center for the Arts, Hopkinton, MA
• Member, Attleboro Arts Museum, Attleboro, MA
• Member, Collective Marks Artist Group, Attleboro, MA
• Founding Member, NewHAT Artist Group