Cara Koolmees    

I was born in Long Beach and grew up in Downey, California where I was encouraged in art by a family friend.  I started drawing pastel portraits at age 10.  Throughout school I took art classes, having my first one man show in high school.  I went to Long Beach State College, California as an Art major.  During the same time period, I attended Cerritos College as a pre-med and Art major.  I then went to the University of Southern California and received a B.S. degree in Dental Hygiene. 

After getting married and having two children, I still painted part time, took workshops and entered juried shows.  After we moved to Utah in 1995 and my children graduated from college in 2000, I earnestly started painting.

I have always looked for interesting subjects that I can interpret with exaggerated color and pattern. Living in northern Utah allowed me to use this style in landscapes, seascapes, balloons etc. However, when I acquired a studio on historic 25thStreet in Ogden, I started painting interesting buildings beginning with my studio.  These buildings are treated as “portraits”.  Since then I have done numerous commissioned paintings for Historic 25thStreet businesses, festivals, and brochures. 

Growing up in California gave me a love for the beach which translates into my “beachy” pictures that show the whimsical side of human nature.  I continue to learn and grow as an artist developing my own unique style.

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