Carol Jenkins

All my life I have loved the out of doors—especially wild places. There is something unpredictable about wild terrain, exciting, a little risky. It is also why I am drawn to abstract painting. It is the unexpected that delights: a wildflower pushing up through decaying leaves, an accidental smear on the canvas that leaves a beautiful mark I did not try to make. These are gifts that satisfy me.

Just like a forest, an abstract painting grows into itself and cannot be known ahead of time: it is a call and response, moment by moment, and can never be replicated. My painting process starts with spontaneous mark-making, then the laying on of bold shapes, followed by layers of acrylic or oil paint that I draw into and scrape away. Once an interesting line or color pulls the painting in a direction I want to follow, I build the layers of paint more deliberately into a composition that incorporates both the quiet expanse and bountiful energy of the wilderness I love.

The process of naming a painting is also important to me. I want the name to be a window into the painting that also allows the viewer to move anywhere else they want to go. I often spend a lot of time looking at a painting, engaging in an intuitive process of association until a word or idea pulls me toward a name that feels right. Playing with words is similar to exploring with paint: it is the unexpected that moves me.

My work has been shown in galleries across the West Coast and has been collected nationally.

Solo and Two-person Exhibitions

• 2021 Gallery at Wilder, Orinda, CA

• 2018 Montclair Gallery, Oakland, CA 

• 2017 Siskiyou Art Museum, Dunsmuir, CA 

•2017 Liberty Arts Gallery, Yreka, CA

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2022 Artist Alliance online exhibition, Above & Below, juror Jennifer Perlmutter
  • 2022 Museum of Northern California, Celebrate Red, Yellow, Blue, Chico, CA
  • 2022 O’Hanlon Center for the Arts, Strictly Abstract, Mill Valley, CA
  • 2022 Gallery Baume des Pelerins, Sablet, France
  • 2022 Hopkins Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
  • 2022 Jen Tough’s Artist Alliance online exhibition, Green
  • 2021 Hallie Brown Ford gallery, Roseberg, OR
  • 2021 Dab Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2021 Liberty Arts Gallery, Yreka, CA
  • 2021 Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery, Lafayette CA
  • 2021 Turtle Bay West Coast Biennial, Redding, CA, juried by L.A. Times art critic David Pagel
  • 2021 Maude Kerns Art Center, Eugene, OR
  • 2020 Marin Society of Artists, CA
  • 2020 Danville Theatre Art Gallery, CA
  • 2020 Las Laguna Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA
  • 2020 Danville Theatre Art Gallery
  • 2019 Art Works Downtown, San Rafael, CA
  • 2019 Arc Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 2019 Liberty Arts Gallery
  • 2019 JenniferPerlmutter@theBank pop-up exhibition, Lafayette CA
  • 2018 Liberty Arts Gallery
  • 2018 Jennifer Perlmutter’s Gallery
  • 2018 Abrams Claghorn Gallery, Albany, CA


•2022 Eye of Wonder, Galley Baume des Pelerins

•2022 Art in the Time of the Corona by Dab Art Co.

•2022 Contemporary Artist Magazine by Jen Tough Gallery

•2021 Artists of the Bay Area by Jen Tough Gallery

•2021 Wild Lands by Jen Tough Gallery

•2019 Sanctuary by Arc Gallery

•2018 Have You Heard Us Yet? Abrams Claghorn Gallery


•2021 West Coast Biennial at Turtle Bay, awarded second place by David Pagel, Art Critic for the L.A. Times and cash prize