Arts and Entertainment

Carrie Goller is recapturing her childhood on canvas

“Debutants,” a work of Carrie Goller’s, will be on display next weekend. - Courtesy Photo
“Debutants,” a work of Carrie Goller’s, will be on display next weekend.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

Carrie Goller is recreating her childhood via a canvas and a brush.

Last spring, the Port Ludlow resident spent a few days looking through family photos. They reminded her of childhood camping trips at Bainbridge Island’s Fay Bainbridge State Park and the fun her family had boating and spending time around their large, white trailer.

Goller began transforming the three-inch by three-inch photos into waxed painting. A “colorist and contemporary realist” by trade, she often had to reinterpret the colors of the black and white photos from memory and research other photos for details that faded with time.

“It’s daunting,” she said. “I often don’t have all the information I need to recreate the images. There’s a lot of guessing involved.”

Goller will showcase her retro exhibit, titled “Vintage,” to the public from 5 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 9, at Rockwater Art Center, located at 1639 Rude Road in Poulsbo. The center, which was Goller’s family home for 20 years, opened in April and is co-owned by artist Derek Gundy.

One of Goller’s favorite paintings is of her mother in a one-piece bathing suit at Lake Chelan, trying to learn how to swim. For Goller, her mom personifies the era.

“She was always canning and making jam in a frilly apron and when dad got home, she looked good,” Goller said. “At the same time, she loved camping and kicking around the ball — and she always had a cigarette.

“I had such a great childhood and I didn’t realize it at the time. My mom was so strict ... I went haywire as a child. I guess I’m saying sorry a little bit to my mom.”

Another painting is of her and four cousins, in 60’s-style high socks and skirts giggling at her aunt’s wedding.

“We are all there, in various stages of toothlessness,” she said.

She recently expanded the exhibit to include painting of people from outside her family. Her favorite is a picture of the model Solanah Cornell, dressed in a classic leopard-skin jacket. Cornell, along with some of her friends with a similar passion for all thing retro, will appear at the exhibit.

Goller said she didn’t know if retro was becoming a full-blown movement, but said that it definitely has established a niche among certain artistic groups.

“It’s just cool,” she said. “The old cars, the dresses: it’s not a statement about the world now, it’s just that I have a connection to the time there.”

Goller, who was featured October edition of the American Art Collector magazine, recently has begun paintings for families and friends with old photos.

“I could probably find material from my family for the rest of my life,” she said.

This story has been corrected to note Goller lives in Port Ludlow and that a painting was of she and her cousins, not sisters.

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