THE ARTIST

CAROLYN ANNE WATTS
AUGUST 1954 – OCTOBER 2010
View her works at this link: The Art

 

Carolyn Anne Watts was born to Dorothy P. and Herbert Watts on August 10, 1954 in Washington, D.C. She attended Plummer Elementary and Sousa Junior High School in the District of Columbia during her formative years. Carolyn was an artistic child, her talents began to manifest during these formative years. Carolyn’s passion for drawing paper dolls and their fashions engrossed her in hours of creativity. Carolyn never lost her love for drawing paper dolls and would later bless her niece with a personal collection of unique and fashionable paper dolls all her very own.

The family moved to Lanham, Maryland when Carolyn was entered senior high school. In 1971, she graduated from DuVal High School in Glendale, Maryland. “Go Tigers”!!! Carolyn’s artistic nature and fascination with color continued to grow, she Carolyn was captivated with make-up artistry and fashion. She traveled to New York City to live and work as a make-up artist. Carolyn kept a sketch book with her at all times, it was a constant outlet for her thoughts, ideas and creativity. Perhaps it was the time spent in New York City that solidified her decision to return to Maryland and pursue an art degree.

In 1981, Carolyn enrolled in the University of Maryland where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in1985. She excelled in art studies which not only fined tuned her natural artistic talent but enhanced her commitment to both visual and performance art. She studied other elements including dance, sculpture and liberal arts. She was engrossed in the Holocaust, early British monarchy, religion, the history of human kind and ancient civilizations. Though she studied the works of many artists, she openly admired the work of Georgia O’Keefe and even understood Picasso. Carolyn made the Dean’s list by maintaining a 4.0 grade point average throughout all her years at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD. Through Carolyn’s diligence, she paid her way through school. Working on campus she took various jobs including cook in the student dining hall kitchen. Just prior to graduation, Carolyn was recognized by faculty and peers when the School of Art organized a showing of her art work in the University’s Art Gallery. After completing her bachelor of art degree, Carolyn moved out on her own and continued painting. This marks the birth of her collection which would continue to build until her death in 2010.

Carolyn would spend most of her post graduate years working as a makeup artist selling the first line of cosmetics created for women of color “Barbara Walden” and in shoe sales, managing shoe departments in various stores. Painting was her passion. These artist creations would speak for her and she wanted to share them with the world. Like many artists, Carolyn was not one to socialize with groups of people regularly, though many of her co-workers thought fondly and kindly of her. She was the best at what she did, earning many awards as the top seller in the women’s shoe department at Woodward & Lothrop, The Hecht Company and Macy’s. Carolyn’s art was her solace, her comforter, and her children as she never married or experienced child birth.

Throughout her adolescence, young adult and adult years Carolyn suffered the pangs of depression. While on the campus of the University of Maryland she sought treatment however as she matured, depression deepened. Around the end of October, Carolyn’s depression became overwhelming to the extent she took her life. The family was notified on November 8th and immediately began speculating as to whether signs of her deepened depression had been overlooked or ignored; the family wondered if we had not respond appropriately; what should we have done differently?

After Carolyn’s death, the family discovered over 170 canvasses of original and stunning artwork. The first segments of these works are called the “Carolyn Anne 1 Collection.” She spent many years creating these beautiful works of abstract, brilliantly painted creations in stunning acrylic colors. The Carolyn Anne Foundation Inc. was founded in December of 2013 by her sister, Cheryl Maxwell to present and promote her artwork to the public, however the foundation is much, much more than that. Our lack of response to mental health disorders within our generation alone has taken a devastating toll. As children we were preoccupied every day regarding the abnormalities of my own experience and that of our relatives. Emotional scars are unseen because they are internal and not external. How does a child convey to society that they have been wounded and need attention? The Carolyn Anne Foundation has been founded to educate individuals, parents, relatives, religious leaders, mental health professionals and policy makers regarding children and mental health issues through workshops, forums, and research in a quest to raise awareness, formulate and promote solutions related to early mental health assessment, detection and care.








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