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Visual Artistry: Carol White

by Cary Playter

The Topsfield Library has had the good fortune to acquire two paintings done in the 1970’s by Topsfield resident and artist, Carol White. These works are currently hung in the Library’s Mystery Room. The paintings were completed during the time Carol was working as a Travelling Art Teacher for the Gloucester Public Elementary Schools, a position she held for 35 years. Carol recalls that PLANTS was painted at her home at that time in Magnolia. After she moved to Hamilton she painted STAINED GLASS WINDOW in 1979. It depicts a beautiful piece of stained glass that Carol had acquired at an auction in Hamilton. The stained glass window piece is still in her possession hanging in her porch in Topsfield where she has resided since 1983.

Carol’s current works range from abstract colorist creations and geometric based works to marvelously detailed and nuanced landscapes. She notes that being a Gemini she has never felt the need to specialize or circumscribe her artistic vision. She opens herself to the visual world in its widest and most varied aspects.

Carol’s initiation into the art world began in high school when she worked summers with the Monomoy Theater in Chatham creating, painting and building theater sets. She also recalls drawing her way through science classes. Additionally, during this period of her life she learned and worked doing silversmithing, metalcraft and jewelry making. Subsequently Carol graduated from Tufts University in 1960 and the Museum School in Boston in 1961. Before settling on the North Shore, she worked for a number of years in the South and traveled in Europe and North Africa.

Once having moved to the North Shore and started her teaching in Gloucester, during her summer breaks she spent time on Monhegan Island in Maine, an historic artists’ colony. Artists such as Robert Semple and Jamie Wyeth were also working there at that time. Carol did work for several summers in Robert Semple’s Stitchery Studio both learning and creating fiber art works. During her summers on Monhegan Carol created annual Journals describing her life and observations there. These include drawings and watercolors of her surroundings as she experienced them on the island.

Since her retirement from teaching in 2001 Carol has spent more time painting and drawing in our area. She has been particularly drawn to Meredith Farm in Topsfield and the Spirit Tree which grew there. She has also each summer, until Covid, travelled with other artists to visit the Chateau Pourpry in Damaites, France. There the artist owners of the Chateau have welcomed her and others artists allowing them to immerse themselves in the surroundings and draw inspiration for their works from the Chateau, its gardens and the countryside.

Currently Carol continues to work from her home studio in Topsfield. She and fellow North Shore artists have exhibited regularly at the Topsfield Library and at other venues in the area.

The Library has been fortunate and is pleased to once again be able to open our exhibit space to Carol and fellow artists from the Topsfield and the North Shore. Carol and other artists will be exhibiting from March 1st to March 30th in The Topsfield Library Exhibit/Activity Room. The Opening for the exhibit entitled CELEBRATION will take place on March 4th from 1pm-3pm and all are welcome. For more information, click here.

The Activity Room hosts meetings and library events and is not always open for viewing. Please call ahead or check our website calendar to see what’s happening daily.


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