Born and raised in rural Minnesota, Carye VanDerPol Mahoney graduated in 2000 from Minnesota State University, Moorhead with a Bachelor of Fine Arts for Illustration. After graduation she worked as a graphic designer and then as a freelance artist and illustrator. Over the years, she’s lived in various places in the Midwestern U.S. and Ontario before settling in the Niagara Region.
She has traveled throughout North America and Europe and has been inspired by the art, history, nature, and culture she experienced. Her daughter’s birth in 2010 opened up new worlds of imagination in the artist’s life and work.
Mahoney’s art is realistic and illustrative in style with a touch of the fantastical. Her subject matter includes animals, people, nature, the mystical and magical. She primarily uses a mixture of colored pencil, watercolor and ink to create softly textured, highly detailed, and intensely vibrant images. She also sometimes paints using acrylics when she wants a more immediate or relaxed result.
She feels as though she’s created a successful image when it evokes a mood or memory for the viewer. But she’s even happier with a piece when it seems to have been plucked right from the page of a book; she loves to create art that tells a story. She draws inspiration from her love of books, her daughter, the farm where she grew up, and the cycles of nature and of life.
Mahoney’s original art, greeting cards, bookmarks, and prints can be found online at her Etsy site, as well as shops and galleries located in the U.S. and Ontario. She participates in art shows and sales throughout the year. She also does commissioned portraits and illustration work.