Interview with Carolyn Gavin on Red Cap Cards

There’s a fantastic interview with artist Carolyn Gavin on the Red Cap Cards website here.  Sneak peek below.


Tell us about your childhood—did you always want to be an artist? Did you have any other aspirations?

I grew up in South Africa in a very protective, nurturing environment. I lived in white suburbia in Johannesburg with my family—two older brothers (who taught me to be tough), parents, and great grandparents, two dogs and a nanny, Beauty, who was like my second mama. I had a nice life, we had a swimming pool and I remember always painting and creating things and wanting to be an artist. I studied with artist, Nina Campbell-Quine, and she really taught me how to paint, experiment with different techniques and live a “bohemian” life as an artist. She had a stunning house and studio which she designed. The studio had gigantic windows facing an incredible succulent garden. A very exotic and intoxicating place to visit and paint every week!

As a white person growing up there, life was easy, sunny and bright. As a black person, life was unfair and unjust. Apartheid was at its peak right then in the 60’s and 70’s and no one dared speak out. The thing to do was either leave the country or fight for what you believed in.


Studio space


What an inspiring interview and it’s filled with lots of Carolyn’s beautiful work. Enjoy reading the full interview here and congratulations Carolyn! See her portfolio here.


The Studio Ladies

1 Comment

  • I too went for classes with my sister with Nina Campbell-Quine at her home in Hyde Park, until about 1982 when we moved from Johannesburg. At age 45, I started an oil class, and my painting has just taken off, reminding of my foundation of art with Nina. I recently bought the book “Nina Observed” by Shirley Faith Cooper. There is remarkably little about this remarkable woman and her Child Art Studio, that had us so captivated. I would love to see photos of the studio, to refresh my somewhat foggy brain of the joy of those Saturday morning classes! What a truly amazing woman.

    March 19, 2018

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