Celebrating Carrol – Fine Artist & Even Finer Friend

carrol_photo smlCelebrate! This is the newest (and possibly most exciting) part of my website, where I introduce the people who inspire me to live more creatively and authentically. It’s a celebration of their creativity and the joy it brings to those touched by it.

I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt who my first official ‘Celebrate Profile’ would be on—Carrol Evans, the illustrator of my book, ‘Encounters’.

Carrol and I went to the same church for about twenty years and lived within a few kilometres of each other. Ironically, it was only in the last year (and once she had moved 600km’s away) that I came to know and truly appreciate Carrol and her beautiful art.

It all began when I was looking for an artist. I didn’t know very many. Then I remembered the gentle, soft-spoken woman with laughter-filled eyes who used to attend our church. I chose well, for from the moment I shared the idea of ‘Encounters’ with Carrol, she caught the vision and became not only my artist, but my staunchest ally on the project. She told me afterwards how much (and why) she enjoyed working on the book.

“God is my motivator for life. I believe He is the giver of gifts and the gift is for the benefit of others, which is why I enjoyed working on ‘Encounters’ so much. If I had a theme for my life it would be ‘Bring Life!’ based on Jesus’ example and words in John 10:10.”

Shy, unassuming Carrol was slightly taken aback when I asked if I could interview her for this article. “I confess to wanting to be a bit of an ostrich and wonder if I have the courage to peel back this curtain,” she said. But then she proceeded to graciously give me (and you) a look into what inspires her and how she goes about creating her art.

Here are some of Carrol’s illustrations and paintings, coupled with her insights into her own process of inspiration and creativity.

space smlnature inspires smlcharacter quote smllearning smlfine artist heron smlthe wall smlShe did, however, redo the cover of ‘Encounters’ four times, but it’s my favourite painting of all (and yes, that might be because it’s gracing my book). Here is her original painting, and how it ultimately looked on the cover:

cover sml

Carrol didn’t just do the cover; she did a pencil illustration for every chapter of my book (20 in all). They capture every encounter beautifully. Here are just two of them.

encounters pencil smlCarrol has touched many with her light-filled art and life, and I am grateful to be able to call her my friend.


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  1. Adrie Zandbergen

    Beautiful, every painting, drawing. I can’t wait to see all 20 of the pencil illustrations

  2. What beautiful artwork and what a lovely tribute; I think Carrol can be honoured to call you friend, too — as am I.

  3. Thank you Joan, for all your kind words; and for a treasured, inspirational friendship! You touch hearts and draw us to God in such creative ways – the true artist!!

    • Hi Carrol. I loved writing this tribute about you. The partnership & friendship that developed through Encounters, is such a blessing to me. Just about to fetch the printer proof now! 🙂

  4. To acknowledge one’s talents is never easy but a necessary step in life. It inspires others to live their passion and realise their dreams. Carrol has such an amazing ability to capture and evoke emotion. Thanks for the interesting and thought provoking article.

  5. This is such a lovely tribute to Carroll. I loved reading it! Her artworks are all so incredible. I think my favorite one is of the girrafe- it’s expression is perfect 🙂

  6. Thanks Joan for this wonderful tribute to a truly inspirational woman. It brought back such fond memories going back more than 20 years now when Carol and I used to do those early morning runs around Florida Lake together. Carol taught me that you can run and pray (yes, with our eyes open) at the same time! Thanks Carol for those memories and for your positive influence on my life.

  7. Yvonne Geldenhuys

    Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful… the words, the friendship, the special character of Carol, the art. I have tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing your special friend and showing us her art. Wow Carol – you are amazing and God’s love shines through your art.

  8. It was a sad day for me when Carrol and John moved away.. Real people are rare – and precious. Carrol’s art is just like she is – sensitive, positive, authentic – so lovely! Thanks for blessing us with this peek into her work. I do miss her, and am reaching for the phone….

    • I love how everyone is adding their own words of tribute here – thanks Marian. And glad it’s leading to a long-distance chat 🙂

  9. Dear Joan.
    I must say that both you and Carol are an inspiration to me.
    Carol is a very special person, and I thank you for sharing this experience with us,
    Each time I read something written by you I stand back in amazement. Just as Carol’s drawings are a piece of art, so are your words!

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