carolyn damstra

Carolyn Damstra is a Michigan-based painter. For a time in her 20s, she lived and worked in the
Sierra Nevada mountains, hiking solo with her watercolor pad. Through this experience she
discovered the healing power of immersion and quiet observation of nature. Her paintings serve
as a bridge, or a catalyst, for knowing the natural world better, and foster peace and spiritual
“It’s an ongoing act of courage to paint; to not be afraid to load a brush and trust your intuition
and experience to guide the outcome. It is exciting to hold this conversation between nature,
ideas and pigment, flow and vibration, and share it with others. My art is inspired by my frequent
practice of walking through the forest. This is a meditative, healing practice for me. There is a
japanese practice called forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku. It is about connecting with nature
through our senses. Shinrin-yoku bridges the gap between us and the natural world. I welcome
viewers to walk through my art in a similar way.”
Carolyn travels frequently, hiking and painting–especially along Michigan’s west coast and the
Leelanau Peninsula. Another aim of her art is to grow appreciation for Michigan and the
Midwest and reveal it’s enchanting places to the world. Its subtle beauty belies the region’s
reputation as an industrial region. It’s sparkling, crisp waters lining golden shores, and the
greenest, lush greens of rolling farmlands and woods inspire endless interpretation and
Today Carolyn’s medium is acrylics and she works in her Okemos studio from her own photos
as well as directly outdoors (en plein air) in warmer months. She has a BFA in painting and an
MA in art history, both from Michigan State University, and exhibits frequently in museums and