About the Artist

The two mastodon murals in this exhibit are not paintings—or at least not what one might think of as paintings in the traditional sense. There were no paint brushes used, or palettes for mixing colors.

These are digital images, as are all the murals that New Mexico-based artist Karen Carr paints, whether they are headed to the Audubon Society or the Smithsonian. The murals were created on her computer.

But as Carr explained during a recent interview, whether she is working with a brush or with her computer tablet, there is little difference.

“You go through the same process. You make your own colors—and it dries immediately,” she said with a laugh.

“I do miss painting in oil. I love the tactile sense of it. The smell of the linseed oil. And when I semi-retire, I’ll go back to the oils,” said Carr, 51.

“But it’s all about the end picture, really,” she said. “When oils became available in tubes, some people thought that was heresy. It’s what comes out of your brain.”

Carr can look out her studio windows and see her sheep grazing in the field, her garden, and off in the distance, the Burro Mountains. It’s a two-mile ride on horseback to the 3.3 million-acre Gila National Forest.

“On clear days you can see clear down to Mexico,” she said.

She admits that Mastodons are one of her favorite subjects. The mural behind the display cases was made for the New Jersey State Museum while the one on the opposite wall was commissioned by the Indiana State Museum.

“Mastodons, fortunately, are ancient elephants so you have a lot to work with,” she said. “I love working on the mastodons, the mammoths. They’re so cool.”

For more information on the artist and her work, go to www.karencarr.com