In the past she has followed her family around the globe as they chased their careers but now it is her painting that is taking priority and her retired husband Mick is the one in the supporting role as she puts her brushes to work.
She has had a passion for painting all her life and first started taking it seriously while living in the Far East in the 1960s.
As a teenager, her father was posted to Hong Kong with the Foreign Office. She attended secretarial college and went to work for the Army in its surveyors office which was building the new military hospital on the mainland. Later on, she decided to take the opportunity to study art and she spent two years learning to paint oil painting under the tuition of an American resident artist at the Hong Kong University.
“The subjects were mainly landscape, seascapes and still-life as well as portraiture and she gave me all the basics that I needed to know. I painted as often as time would allow as well as studying Chinese Painting. However, it was a long time before I was painting professionally,” said Carol.
Back in Britain a few years later whilst she was raising a family and working as a medical secretary, her father put some of her paintings on the walls of his office and his colleagues started commissioning more.
“It rather became known as Fred’s Gallery at the time and it was then that I first thought maybe I could take it a stage further”
It was only when her husband’s job was moved to Yorkshire from the South of England and she had to give up her own job that she decided to take up painting full-time.
“Not only did I attend many residential painting courses but also college to train as an adult education teacher.
“Mick was working long hours which enabled me to work non-stop at my painting, both in oils and watercolour but I know it was the right decision. It really is a major part of my life now.”
Even though Carol had a good grounding in Hong Kong and has worked hard putting the hours in painting wise, she says that you never stop learning.
“I was fortunate to have very good internationally-recognised tutors to help me develop as an artist. You eventually get your own style – your own way of painting – but it takes years and lots of practise. It is hard to get it just right in your own eyes.
“You somehow put your own soul into it,” she explained.
“You cannot have a formula – you have to go along with how you feel at the time.”
Carol is now well-regarded and a talented painter in both watercolour and oils and she uses her teaching qualifications to pass on her talents to others in art workshops and demonstrations around the country.
Her main inspiration may come from what she sees around her, and the Derbyshire Dales certainly figure heavily in her landscape work, but she and her husband still travel.
A role as resident artist providing workshops on board cruise liners gives her the opportunity to teach and to see new places.
In 2009 Carol won the HRH Princess Michael of Kent Watercolour Award for the most outstanding watercolour painting in the Society of Women Artists Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London and two years later, she exhibition at the Royal Watercolour Society Exhibition at the Bankside in London.
Carol is a Member of the Society of Women Artists, a Member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists and the Society of Floral Painters.
She is president of Matlock Artists’ Society and helps with hanging over 200 paintings on display at its annual exhibition which is on for two weeks from July 6 to 21 at Arkwright Mill, Cromford.
The society has over 1,000 visitors at the exhibition.
Her next solo exhibition will be at the Little London Gallery, Church Street, Holloway, throughout September.
For more information about courses and to see a gallery of more of her work go to http://www.carolhillartist.com
For more information about the exhibition at the Little London Gallery, Holloway go to http://www.littlelondongallery.co.uk