Emerson Lobby Gallery
HILLS AND HOLLERS by Carly Thaw
November 29 – February 4, 2021
Originally from the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, Carly Thaw uses watercolor, pen, and gouache paint to illustrate the rich cultural identity and outdoor recreation communities of her home state of West Virginia. Now a resident of Bozeman, Montana, Carly has expanded her focus to explore the variety of land/human relationships of the mountain regions she has explored. An avid long distance runner and skier, Carly loves to use her forays into the wilderness to inform her work.
Carly uses the unpredictable nature of watercolor paint and precise pen line work to explore the texture and movement that each region and ecosystem expresses. A designer at heart, she loves to find patterns and highlight the unique color shifts found in nature. Carly’s poster designs and narrative illustrations have been featured in several published works, including a children’s book. Carly discovered her love for illustration early, as a long- time student of artist Barrie Kaufman. She earned a BA in Graphic Design from American University, and was trained by artist Carol Robb at the Rome Art Program in Rome, Italy. Most recently, Carly has been exploring the overlap of graphic design elements and illustrative fine art to tell more direct stories with her work.
About the Work
“I am an illustrator, but really I am a storyteller. I love exploring Earth’s natural landscapes — especially mountains — and even more learning the stories of the people who call those places home. I create illustrations with pen, watercolor, and gouache paint to highlight regional identity. I love traveling around and chatting with locals to find the points of pride inhistory, culture, landscape, and plant and animal life.
I am drawn to unique natural features, ecosystems, and communities. There is something so special and so visceral about the human relationship to land — the energy of the natural landscape, and the essence of local culture. My goal is to capture in my work the nuance of those stories and why they are so intrinsic to our experience of life and the natural world.”