About the Artist

Carol Worthey was born under the Piscean sign of two symmetrical fishes one March 1s morning and has been under the spell of the ocean ever since. The day she was born family friend Leonard Bernstein was in her home and made hamburgers shaped like starfish declaring, "This little girl's gonna be a star!" From the time she held her first pencil and crayon, Carol drew pictures incessantly, either from life or from imagination, from fruit bowls to fairies, nothing escaped her keen eye nor her steady hand. She supposes it was partially to escape the havoc of her parents' stormy relationship that she drew with such abandon, but always it was a joy unto itself to create and express her love of life!

Growing up in Rhode Island meant salt-air summers spent at the beach, indulging in lobster and sweet corn and braving the waves. At the age of five and six, she loved to swim way out, far past shore and plunge fearlessly into waves three times her height and body surf to shore, oblivious to the shrieks of her Mother. There was just something so freeing about the roll of the waves as she soared far above gravity and seriousness. She has always been a playful spirit!

When Carol was five and had been painting and drawing like a skilled young adult, her parents took her to Rhode Island School of Design to see if she could be admitted to children's art classes there. But apparently, when the school saw her drawings they scheduled a special appointment unlike any they had given to other children: Carol recalls being tested by several dignified and somewhat sceptical art professors for her proficiency in drawing, painting and design --- the result being that at age five Carol was admitted to adult classes at RISD, where she studied anatomy, color theory, oil painting, watercolor, design, sculpture and all manner of wonderful arts until the age of twelve. One of her greatest joys in life was running up the flights of stairs every weekend to her classes in the venerable art building, the smell of paint and clay filling her with a sense of intense anticipation. One Saturday morning while at her easel painting a still life in oil painting class, a fellow classmate (an adult you see) managed to capture six-year-old Carol at the canvas, without her suspecting she was being painted. You see it here: Carol at
            RISD Age Six [Portrait of Carol at RISD at Age Six: Artist Unknown]

At seven, after having studied anatomy, she was allowed to participate in "life class" where she sketched live nude models, both female and male --- the first such time seeing real, live nudes was a bit of a surprise, but being mature for her age and intent to learn how to draw, Carol decided that this is how God had made our bodies --- after all, she was there to learn to follow the outlines and get the shadings and fleshtones and perspective just right! A very grownup idea and crucial to her skill in drawing to this day. Carol believes that skill in drawing and design is essential for a beautiful painting.

She feels very fortunate to have studied color theory and painting techniques at a very young age, so that these skills became absorbed into her very essence as an artist, freeing her to concentrate on mood and emotional subtleties while putting in the little details that make such a difference.

But her story of ocean and paint continues: In college Carol journeyed to Manhattan to study at Barnard College, Columbia. Every week she partook of the cultural life of this living, breathing entity we call New York City --- there is probably not a museum she did not visit. There in college she studied art history, calligraphy, and oriental brush techniques. One summer Carol visited Paris and felt like she was swimming in greatness seeing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, among all the other masterpieces.

After college, Carol fled the big city and ended up on the beaches of Acapulco for a while, where she swam undaunted in shark-infested waters. Yes, somehow fearless although surrounded by sharks, whose fins encircled her at times. Would she do this today? Not on your life... or hers. Is it possible that a mermaid or two swimming in Acapulco Bay deterred the sharks from making her their breakfast?--- this has just recently dawned upon Carol, who has in her wanderings learned about Mermaid ways.

Our Wandering Artist then settled for an idyllic year and a half in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, the art colony town of San Miguel de Allende in central Mexico. The entire town is a national monument from colonial times, complete with cobblestoned streets, wrought-iron lanterns, expatriot artists from every corner of the globe, a sense of ancient times and Indian ways, and a miniature rose-stone cathedral (the native Indian carvers had paintings and drawings of European cathedrals to go on but got the size wrong --- it's more gorgeous for being smaller in scale that its European "cousins.") Walking the hilly streets to the market every day Carol learned to cook from the organic bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. She drew and painted and nearly every day visited the world-famous weaver Evelyn Anselevicius who allowed Carol to play her piano while the kindly spiritualist weaver created her dot-matrix portraits in wool and dyed her colors and wove stories about ghosts and auras she'd seen, and asked Carol "Did you see ghosts in town today?" Sometimes Carol did but Mermaids were always of greater interest. And no matter how fascinating the town and life was here, the ocean was too far away....

At that time Carol was married to painter Eugene Worthey and so took on his last name. While he painted, she was busy too. For it was in San Miguel de Allende that our Wandering Artist sketched and painted the unique townscape with its singing bell towers, alleys and arches, spectres of cactus, and wizened villagers. There she learned a unique style of decoupage (the art of cutting and assembling artworks from skillfully cut and placed papers, a far more detailed artform than collage) and created masterful necklaces and all manner of jewelry encrusted with semi-precious stones, iridescent feathers and antique beads, joined together with colorful cords tied in difficult knots so tiny that it was a form of lace making called macrame lace. Years later upon return to America this jewelry went on display at Folk and Craft Museum, then called The Egg & The Eye, across from Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The idyll ended when Carol realized that no matter how lovely the enclave and artistic life was in San Miguel, the world was in need of help and escape was no longer an option. Goodbye to San Miguel! (In truth, as beautiful as it was, it was inland, and inland is not the place for a worshipper of the ocean.) And so Eugene and Carol Worthey returned to America, living at first in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, across the river from Manhattan's skyline. (And a river has its special qualities but it's not the ocean.) So then Carol and Eugene moved to the sprawls of Los Angeles, a quilt of ethnicities splashed with glitter and soothed by ocean breezes from the Pacific, so different in color and feel than the Atlantic of her youth. There she bore a wonderful daughter Megan, but soon the marriage was not working and so Eugene and Carol agreed amicably to "split". To restore some energy in this doldrum time, Carol took little Megan on a trip to Catalina Island and kissed a wish into the salty air that someone totally right for her would magically appear.... soon. Was it possible that a Mermaid heard her wish or were the Catalina dolpins especially playful that day?

Three years later Carol had her first date with Ray Korns, a computer consultant who knew history and art and music and how to make Carol feel special. Ironically, Ray had walked to a party at her house a few months earlier, musing to himself, "I wonder what it would be like living in this house." (It was Carol he really wanted, rest assured, not the house.) Carol knew on that first date that he was the one for her. But Ray (being a man) was more recalcitrant (stubbornly refusing to cooperate) and had to go to the cliffs of Malibu, look across the waters of the Pacific and make up his mind. Fortunately, he made the right decision! On their honeymoon, the Newlyweds journeyed back to Catalina Island where the seals properly applauded them with their wet fins and even the ocean seemed to smile! They both decided not to end their honeymoon, at least mentally.

Today Ray and Carol have been married thirty-six years. It was on their twentieth wedding anniversary that Carol and Ray journeyed to Hawaii and encountered Dia, Carol's very first mermaid friend. But that is a story for you to read about in the Gallery at "Day in The Life of A Mermaid"....

Since then, Carol Worthey has participated in numerous gallery shows in Aspen, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica California and New York City and has won Best of Show for her watercolors --- water, always water, the medium or the subject-at-hand! In 2007 she was invited to Florence, Italy to participate in the 2007 Florence Biennale International Contemporary Art Exhibit, where she exhibited the diptych (two part painting) of the Twins Rima and Zahara (see Musical Mermaids I & II) and won a Special Recognition Award! Carol is proud to have represented Artists for Human Rights at this amazing exhibit, featuring painters, photographers and sculptors from eighty-four countries. As to how Carol met Rima and Zahara --- well you'll just have to read about that in the Gallery....

Ocean, Mermaids, Paint, and Magic have been and will always be a central part of Carol Worthey's life --- The Wandering Artist hopes these magical creatures will bring you the same kind of well-being, good fortune, passion, beauty and love!

Mermaid Twins

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