As a child growing up in Illinois, CC Caldwell gained an appreciation for the beauty of nature. It was through her grandfather, whether it was a walk in the woods or gazing at the stars together, that she discovered beauty in the world. It was only natural this appreciation became evident in her childhood sketches.
When CC moved to Florida in 1962, she found herself surrounded by magnificent landscapes and marveled at the splendor of the state. Her art began to take on a new dimension. Now located on Sanibel Island, CC is never out of inspiration for her paintings.
“I go to the canvas to have fun,” she said about how she works. “It’s important to have fun while working.”
CC spends her days painting plein aire – or on location – at Sanibel’s magnificent beaches and nature preserves. Her daily schedule includes at least five hours of painting per day. She dabbles in impressionistic art, but sticks mostly with realism. Though she has been painting for more than 30 years, she began studying art about 10 years ago. With lessons from Sanibel artist and business owner Toni Rinaldi, CC was able to enhance her craft.
“He helped me improve greatly,” she said. “But I’ve been basically self-taught.”
Even before her lessons, CC’s status as an artist was growing – painting and selling rapidly. Her work has been prominently displayed at Sanibel Public Library, BIG ARTS, Broadway Palm Theater and Alliance for the Arts, among other locations. As of July 1, CC can add a magazine cover to her increasing list of accomplishments.
“It’s exciting and quite an honor to be chosen,” she said about being the next cover artists for SWFL Naturally Magazine.
As a resource guide to building a sustainable, local economy, SWFL Naturally strives to be the “go-to” guide for all things sustainable, natural and local. Based in Cape Coral, the free publication is a complete directory of local products and services in more than 200 categories.
Gracing the cover for July through December will be a version of CC’s original “Sunrise Silhouette” painting. She is also honored to be the secretary for Sanibel-Captiva Art League and is an active volunteer with Friends In Service Here (F.I.S.H.), a local non-profit community service organization.
When CC is not in front of a canvas, she enjoys teaching others the craft.
“It’s like giving a fine gift of knowledge to someone,” she said.
Her work can be viewed at Phillips Gallery, 900 Dunlop Road, now until Aug. 31.
This piece of art titled “Sanibel Lighthouse” by CC Caldwell will grace the cover of a new island cookbook.