a purrfect visual feast

Just in case you’re feeling a tad winter weary and color starved, thought I’d share some gorgeous paintings by award-winning artist, illustrator, author and teacher Carla Golembe, who currently lives in Delray Beach, Florida.

One of Carla’s children’s book illustrations.

Carla is a particular favorite because she illustrated my third picture book, The Woman in the Moon (Little, Brown), and her rich, color drenched, dreamy acrylic paintings always lift me up and transport me to a place far away from the troubles and uncertainty of this world.

Recently, Carla has been painting mermaids for the Mermaid Expo to be held at the Gallery Galleon in Puerto Rico on March 8, 2013. A devoted cat lover, Carla also painted some beautiful tributes to her beloved Zippy (who passed away last summer), as well as several whimsical pieces featuring her new cat Vinny.

This is how Carla describes her work:

My paintings are the product of my dreams and experiences. They speak of hope and love, of mystery and delight. My work expresses the harmony between individuals, between people and animals, people and nature, within a person’s soul.

They are colorful and sensual, reflecting the tropical beauty of my home and travels. The full spectrum of positive emotion echoes through my work.

Although the pieces express an optimistic attitude they are not naive, rather they come from an understanding that pain and anxiety are part of life but joy is a more desirable place to dwell. Although my compositions are designed and defined there is no gravity in my visual world. The figures often inhabit ambiguous spaces, places where sky and water flow into one  another and where light and darkness merge. They are frequently caught in a moment of being or becoming, for it is in that moment that all dreams are possible.

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SOUP’S ON: Carla Golembe in the Kitchen Interview and Book Giveaway

Carla and Joe, husband and soulmate of 28 years.

Today, I’m thrilled to welcome award winning artist, author, illustrator, and teacher, Carla Golembe, to alphabet soup!

I first learned about Carla’s beautiful work back in the 90’s, when she signed on to illustrate my third picture book, The Woman in the Moon. Back then, it was frowned upon for authors and illustrators to communicate about book projects, so we never met or even wrote to each other in those pre-email days. Instead, I oohed and ahhed over some of the books she had illustrated for Mary-Joan Gerson, like People of CornHow Night Came from the Sea, and Why the Sky is Far Away, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book.


Carla’s art is eminently suited for multicultural stories. She is especially adept at capturing the essence, rhythms, and natural beauty of places like Central America, Brazil, Nigeria, and Hawai’i through her sensual, color-saturated, vibrant and exotic paintings, which bring to mind Frida Kahlo, Matisse, Gauguin, and some of the whimsical and mystical elements of traditional folk art. On her website, she says her intention is “to create a visual haven that encourages viewers to enter my personal vision.”

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keep your eyes on the hands: Carla Golembe’s The Story of Hula

Tired of winter’s bleak, gray landscape? Feeling a little cooped up and color starved?

You’ve come to the right place!

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