We had the good fortune of connecting with Carolyn Funk and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Carolyn, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Having two children in three years definitely forced me to prioritize and think of the word ‘balance’ differently. For me, balance does not mean similar time and energy between work, home, and personal life. Instead, it’s an understanding that my attention will ebb and flow depending on need.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I make color from foraged plants, soil, and waste. My artwork is a mixture of art and science, painting and chromatography. I create ink, paint, pigment, and dye from items I find on or in the ground—soil, invasive species, abundant plants—as well as wilting bouquets and food/textile waste. When foraging I disturb the environment as little as possible. For me, foraging is a personal time for rest and discovery; nature has unlimited possibilities and I thank her for that. My paintings are one-of-a-kind abstractions—fugitive, reassembled landscapes and layers of the earth.

I stumbled into ink-making with foraged materials two and a half years ago after reading “Make Ink” by Jason Logan. Since then I’ve created 150+ inks from 100+ plants and materials. Before my natural ink journey my artwork was representational and included figure drawing and portraiture. I have a BFA in Studio Art and an MA in Art Education, and I have been a high school art teacher for 12 years.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am a huge fan of downtown McKinney; it’s small enough to walk around but still has a wide variety of food, shops, and public art. My favorite restaurants are Filtered (coffee), Square Burger, Rye, and Harvest. Outside of Cadillac Pizza Pub you can see a beautiful art nouveau-inspired mural by my friend and artist Misty Oliver-Foster, and throughout the town square and blocks surrounding are large, steel butterflies painted by local artists. My butterfly can be found outside the Heard-Craig Center for the Arts, a gorgeous yellow-painted house built in 1900.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This shoutout is dedicated to my husband who keeps the kids at bay while I’m foraging, simmering, straining, precipitating, drying, grinding, mulling, and painting.

Website: cnelsonfunk.com

Instagram: @cnelsonfunk_art

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