Enjoy the delightful and humorous portfolio of artist Molly Sanger Carpenter, and see more of her work by visiting her website.
My childhood days were filled with visual extravagance. Museums, cathedrals and carousels filled me with wonder. Because I spent a lot of time alone and daydreaming, one of my favorite things was to take long walks in the woods. I would then reinterpreted what I had seen and observed in long hours spent in my room with the various art materials my parents had bought me.
The Gaussian blur of the social world built by my parents, and their families before, suddenly lifted in the mid 1970’s. Chemical dependency in my family, career loss for my father, and the death of my grandparents brought change, altering pretty much everything I had come to know. I fell into the culture of the late 70’s as a teenager. After a terrible near death car accident at the age of 19, I realized my life was not going in the right direction. Fortunately I met my husband-to-be, moved to New Jersey, and married at the age of 21.
Now, after decades of marriage and raising my own family while still pursuing my art, I have realized that in order to be relevant, art needs to be interwoven with one’s own story. I am bringing my own early gilded childhood back to my art. Revisiting the images that have lingered in the recesses of my mind, images of glory, folly, joy and magic, and a childhood dream rediscovered.
To do this, I use the knowledge of materials and techniques that I learned along the way. Learning new materials has expanded my process of creation. For many years I was stuck on the idea that bronze sculpture was the only direction that I could go. My mentor made a very good living making beautiful private and public bronze and metal sculptures.
This, however, takes a lot of capitol to produce. Not having that capitol forced me to improvise. Although I do still accept bronze commission work, I now also spend time working with a myriad of materials, including glass, gold leaf, natural resins, semi-precious stones, oil paint and acrylics. My world has opened up in productive and enchanting ways, ways in which I revel and for which I am grateful.
My goals are to continue to learn new techniques and to make art that delights the viewer as much as it delights me to make. We are bombarded daily with negative and frightening imagery. I feel that because of this, the need for balance is more important than ever, a balance that can be achieved again through the visual arts.