The Art Studio
Hello, and Welcome, My Magical Visitors!
I'm Carol Ochs (it's pronounced "Oaks"). Since you're here, I assume that we just might have something in common, ...being odd creatures, perhaps?! (And I say that affectionately as I root for you...because I AM you!) Are you someone who manages to find magic just about, well....everywhere you go? Do you catch glimpses of fairies flitting in the garden? Mermaids flipping their tails in the waters? Witches hiding in plain sight? Sasquatch lurking in the trees? Orbs zipping in the night? Yep...me too! They can be tricky beings to capture, except on paper or canvas. THAT is what I attempt to do!
I've drawn and painted since childhood, first inspired by beautiful children's book illustrations, thinking "Wow! I want to learn to do that!". Fantastical art worlds were always a cherished visual escape, and still are to this day! I assume all children feel this way, including adults who have yet to grow up! When I was a wee child, I am convinced I witnessed a fairy. She was hovering among the blossoms of a beautiful blooming cherry tree in our yard where I lay daydreaming one spring day. One does not forget a sighting like that! This forever inspired my fairy art, and I've never stopped spying faeries!
Then, when I was a teenager on a camping trip with my family in Oregon, I felt a strange yet palpable cognizance of "being watched" as I hiked through the woods near the edge of the campground, where it met wild forest. It was so powerfully strong a feeling, goosebumps broke out all over me, despite it being the middle of a very hot summer day. Needless to say, I ran back to the safety of our campsite and my family, pronto! Later that same night, I experienced what to this day I am absolutely certain was Sasquatch vocalizations coming from the forest in the middle of the night! It was both terrifying, paralyzing, and exhilarating at the same time. I lay jarred awake in my sleeping-bag, physically unable to move, till the screams eventually faded away as the creature screaming, moved further away into the forest! It was a creature-sound like none other I'd ever heard in all my forays and trompings into forests! Back then there was no internet yet to connect with other "experiencers", compare notes, or share thoughts on this. Aside from talking to my family, there was no one else to communicate with and make sense of it. But when such social platforms/forums finally did come to be 20 years later, and I heard recordings of other Sasquatch vocalizations, goosebumps and the hair on my entire body again stood up and I instantly recognized the sounds as what I'd heard those many years before! (20 years was a LONG time to wonder about those sounds!) When you know, YOU KNOW! Again, ...another art inspiration regarding what lurks in the timbers. Experiences like this are unforgettable, they keep me searching, and it makes me aware of the many wonders of the world, both seen and unseen, acknowledged and not by the general population. ARE they myth? Or part of the natural world that exists all around us for those who pay attention, SEE, and HEAR? Perhaps I am more open to perceiving these wonders than some, but I KNOW what I heard and saw!
My home (where I also work) is in San Diego, CA with my musician/contractor husband (<- link to his music website), two adorable giant Newfoundland dogs who are a huge (literally) part of our lives, and one very persnickety black cat. Our three children are grown and on their own, and one child (daughter and son-in-law) have provided a small fairy granddaughter--perhaps the most magical of all beings I've ever encountered! We reside in a cottage surrounded by enchanted gardens, a custom workshop where I craft Earth-friendly soaps & potions (another venture of the last 24 years). I spend every free moment I can in my art studio or garden-patio drawing and painting, or out in the beautiful outdoors, forests, mountains & ocean....to hike, mountain-bike, and explore, Newfies at my side. THAT is where most of my art inspirations reside, afterall! In my previous profession I was an operating room nurse in the field of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. And following that I ran a home daycare so I could be home with my own young children. I adore autumn & Halloween, and am known as The Neighborhood Witch, apparently for my decorating prowess...year-round, and I always attend Halloween gatherings as, you guessed it--A Witch. But there's just *something* about autumn that awakens my soul and brings out yet more connection to magic! I'm creepily drawn to misty, mysterious places; ... it may one day be my undoing!
A curious craft-a-holic and lover of Old Ways; there are not many crafts I haven't tried. I grew up in a family of crafters, DIYers, and those with old-timey skills and lost arts that they passed on to me. I'm also a writer (currently working on writing and illustrating a children's book), chandler (candlemaker), pyrographer (wood burning art), sew-er, crocheter and knitter, and spinner of fiber.
Art mediums? I work mainly with watercolor and acrylic on hot press paper, bristol, or canvas...sometimes 300 lb. cold press paper. I use pencil and ink for different effects, even pastels. I'm currently experimenting with natural plant-based pigments as paints and as natural dyes for fiber I spin. A whole alternative world of COLOR, provided by Earth! My art has appeared in two books and numerous magazine and online article publications. And I'm a regular artist exhibiting at Comic-Con, San Diego's annual Art Show--the biggest pop culture convention in the USA!
Enough about me. I'd rather let my art do any communicating, but this page is the requisite bit about the odd creature who creates the art you find here, and why. I'm honored should you find something here that speaks to your soul or that of a loved one and adds a wee spark of magic and wonder to your/their own realm!
Thanks very much for visiting!
- Carol -
Husband David & I Our Kids The Newfs Persnickety Cat
Daughter & Son-in-Law Wee Fairy Granddaughter