Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Second Acts, Third Acts, Fourth..etc.

More ancient PB history today.
It's "Career Wednesday" again!
I was listening to Tina Brown talk about her
"second acts, third acts, fourth acts," etc. on Charlie Rose
and I was reminded of some past acts of my own.
I used to use an airbrush and my illustrations were heavily influenced by
Japanese woodblocks for their compositions and coloring.

After a serious injury landed me in the hospital(I was shot pointblank by a mugger), I got interested in medical art...
Always lemons into lemonade on my menu :) Really it was the pharmaceutical advertising art you see in all the medical journals.The movie TRON had just opened - the first film to use computer graphics extensively.

I combined the TRON look with old master drawings....

Still using the airbrush (PhotoShop was yet to be) I came up with a transparent,futuristic style that suited medical art to a T!

My first illlustration flyer brought in a ton of work.

Advil ads, Prozac ads, high-tech anything ads became my caviar and champagne.
Medical advertising pays nicely.

I did covers for Time, Newsweek, Business Week, Omni etc.
Are you asking
WHO IS THIS PERSON? I've no idea and if I had to pickup an airbrush
now I'd be a goner. I did this for almost 10 years. Hillary Clinton came along with her cutbacks on pharmaceutical wastage-
among them, ads that ended up in the circular file
i.e. the wastepaper basket
i.e. what I was producing
And my very lucrative medical illustration business went down the drain. Around then I volunteered for the James Beard House. And a new career evolved that still kept me in champagne and caviar. From there I went on to wine art, but that's another Wednesday story. 


  1. Seriously, Carol, you are fascinating! I love it. You make your own opportunities and go for them full throttle.

  2. THIS WOMAN'S TALENTS ARE ENDLESS. Have you ever been anything ordinary like say a Dustbin Man or as you Americans say Garbage Collector.
    These airbursh pieces are stunning. I once commisioned an airbrush painting in the 50s style and I still have it.

  3. Anonymous9:38 AM

    OMG and I asked if you had been in any other magazine's other then about ON any covers too??! ;-)
    What an inspiration in moving on in life and making lemons into lemonade. You dont even miss a beat. ;-) A book on your Art life would be a fun read. ;-)
    Cris in OR

  4. You are definitely my inspiration! Wow! :)

  5. WOW! I love this about you, inventive, a great eye for detail, you move with the groove and come up with amazing ideas! What a gift you have Carol, you never stand still and are able to make art wherever you go!
    Thank you for being such an inspiration.
    I am certain you have many more tricks, talents and stories up your painting smock sleeve!

  6. Anonymous11:16 AM

    fascinating.... as an aside, I read recently that Victoria Magazine is re-launching at the end of this year -- they could use a paris breakfast cover (or two!)

    - Nathalie in San Diego

  7. Anonymous11:41 AM

    Your airbrush art is impressive and I'm amazed at how you got into pharmaceutical advertising…

  8. What journey you've had, and look where it brought you!

  9. Anonymous12:42 PM

    ANOTHER OMG.. To Nathalie on the Victoria Magazine coming back. That was my FAVORITE magazine and I was so upset when it just ended with no announcement of any kind. Oh Yes indeed.. Paris Breakfasts would be perfect in a Paris issue... If they come back as they were.

    I glean more fun things from this Post.

    Cris in OR..

  10. WAIT

    are you telling me that the same artist that painted the **Advil Cold & Sinus Guy**

    paints those yummy french macarons?

    i have consumed BOTH!

    you are a wonder
    and i am definitely staying tuned...


  11. Anonymous5:20 PM

    Now, that's one career we hadn't heard about before, Carol. Interesting!! I admit, I wouldn't have envisioned you doing that! I'm a definite believer in 2nd, 3rd, even 4th careers, so you're a woman after my own the age I know I at least am, I've had several "lives." Good for you!

    I was thrilled to see that Victoria is coming back later this year--I hope it will be of the same caliber as the original...I loved that magazine. Great post!

  12. Anonymous5:28 PM

    I wonder what else is up that sleeve of yours girl! I really like your rendition of the see through female figure and her reproductive organs. You probably think I'm kidding but I'm not.

    When are you going to Paris?

  13. Those illustrations are SO COOL.

    What if you used the same technique for food illustrations? spaaace...

  14. You are Wonder Woman!
    I bow deeply.

  15. Di I don't think I coulda done '50s..only '80s was my gig.

    Dear Anonymous I think I surprised myself on this one too!

    Rochambeau Thank you for your comments on my rendition of the fem figure and her reproductive bits- I pretty much owned that area of Medical ad art...Ahem

    Robyn That's a brilliant idea - macarons hurtling through deep space!

    Merisi I'm not Wonder Woman but I could have painted her back then!

  16. Anonymous3:06 AM

    My comment has been inspired by Di Overton's...

    One day, just after throwing all her medical art into the bin, Carol went shopping through New York, searching desperately for French "choux à la crème" (as macarons were not known there yet!), Carol saw French César (Baldaccini) and suddenly knew "where to go"! She ran home, took her waste paper basket and happily tossed its content on the kitchen table... and there started a new art life in art!

    You are amazing, Carol!!!

  17. Anonymous3:27 AM

    ... and another art report:

    When Carol took her bin bags down that night... she saw the bin truck turning off her street... She ran as fast as she could... When she reached the turn, one of the guys saw her and kindly took her bags. Carol was very thankful and drew a "medical dustbin man" on his overalls... and there started Carol's new art life ... very soon all dustbin men of New york wore colourful overalls... quite a change in the town!!!

  18. How interesting, how fascinating to read about that phase of your creative career!!!! You're a woman of many talents. And yes, making lemondade out of lemons is the only way...

  19. at least you find a way to go forward...doing what you resourceful...i admire you even more...blessings, rebecca

  20. Thanks for sharing some of your very enviable career - you have had the most exciting life! I guess that's what happens when you're so talented and driven:)

  21. Anonymous7:25 AM


    You are the epitome of the creative process and and inspiration to all women! What haven't you done yet that you really want to do?

  22. Yes, what *can't* you do? I remember those airbrushed medical illustrations - how amazing that it was *you* who made them!?!

    I'm feeling a bit two-dimensional right now... :-)


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