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Carol Pettit Harding
(Pleasant Grove, UT, 1935 - )
Carol Pettit Harding was born in Pleasant Grove, Utah, on November 1, 1935, and later moved with her family to Salt Lake City, where she spent most of her early years. While she was still in grade school in Salt Lake City, her work was chosen to be sent to Russia as part of a student cultural project. She won her first national art competition at age 13.
A 1965 graduate of the Famous Artists' School of Connecticut, Harding taught art classes for 15 years, until she realized her life-long dream of building her own studio adjacent to her home in Pleasant Grove. She also studied at the Gloucester, Massachusetts Academy of Art. Since 1979, she has devoted her time to painting rather than teaching, and she has garnered state and national awards for her work. Her work is owned by collectors throughout the United States and is currently represented by galleries in Utah, Nevada, and Arizona.
Carol Harding is a plein-air painter, painting as much as possible outdoors, right on the spot. Together, Carol and three other women artists of Utah have surmounted many obstacles to enjoy their plein-air painting. "Umbrellas have been blown inside out, paintings and palettes have landed face down, feet have been frozen and bodies scorched. Yet standing in the open air awed by the panorama of possibilities is an incredible and matchless experience," explains Birdie Boorman, one of the artists.
Harding works with enthusiasm as a figurative, landscape, and still-life artist. Working primarily with oils and pastels, she also sculpts, as she strives to reflect an intimate and sensitive statement about life around her, which she enjoys sharing with others. Her work has been described as having "a profound, magic opulence" and a "contemplative solitude" that suit her landscapes of the fantastical Southern Utah canyonlands. She is a Member of the Pastel Society of America, the Degas Pastel Society, and the Knickerbocker Artists of New York.
Carol Harding says of her work,
Expressing life through art has given me an opportunity to share, savor, and celebrate experiences. My goal is to be touched spiritually and learn and improve, seeking that at-one-ment with cherished moments. I feel compelled and joyful to be able to create relations of this unique world of color, atmosphere and magical light. Robert Southwell expressed it well when he said, 'Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live.'