Carolyn Damstra

Carolyn Damstra is a Michigan-based painter. In her twenties, 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 in and quiet observation of nature. Her paintings evoke a connection to the natural world and foster peace and spiritual health.

Damstra continues to hike and paint—especially along Michigan’s west coast and the Leelanau Peninsula. Her appreciation for the natural beauty of Michigan and the Midwest is evident in her bold brushstrokes that capture the energy of familiar and rare landscapes. The region’s sparkling, crisp water, golden shores, and lush farmlands challenge its reputation as a center of industry.

Damstra received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in studio art and a Master of Fine Arts degree in art history, both from Michigan State University, East Lansing. Her work has been included in state exhibitions, including at the Dennos Museum’s ‘Art of the Sleeping Bear Dunes’ in Traverse City, and she was selected as the Artist in Residence at Indiana Dunes National Park. She also does commercial work, such as illustrations, murals, and commissions.