Carole Humphreys is an artist and illustrator whose themes are steeped in myth and fantasy. Her published book illustrations have been described as ‘beautiful and eerie’. She is primarily known as an accomplished pencil artist, but is equally comfortable working in oils and other media.
Born in Wiltshire, England; Carole was inspired at an early age, viewing her father’s paintings hanging in the family home and she made up her mind that she would be an artist herself – an idea that horrified the family’s doctor, who advised her parents to break all her pencils and to give her no encouragement (it was the 1960s and his son had “dropped out” to become an artist).
This episode resulted in all of her father’s work being removed from the walls and he never returned to painting until the very final years of his life. Somehow, Carole was able to convince her parents that attending art school would not lead to her ruin and she spent four years studying graphic design and illustration in the early 80s. Following this, she worked as a freelance artist, while raising her children – no easy task, as her eldest child is autistic.
Carole returned to full-time study in 2002, attending Bath Spa University for four years where she gained first class honours in her combined degree in English and Creative Studies in English, passing her Masters in Creative Writing with distinction. Her love of literature is often a theme in her art, she has portrayed Shakespeare’s Ophelia a number of times, Edgar Allen Poe’s tragic Usher siblings, and has illustrated a haunting scene from Coleridge’s ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, as well as illustrating fairytales.
She is painstaking in her work and can invest one hundred hours or more in some of her drawings; she spent almost 10 months working on her masterpiece, ‘A Symphony for Persephone’. Following the loss of her sister in 2006, she began to tackle darker themes in her work, depicting death or hellish scenes; but beauty was not absent in these works. To this day, she remains determined to produce beautiful and sometimes eerie art, and firmly believes her best work is still to come.