by Lisa Cadigan
An earlier version of this article was originally published on the Adams County Arts Council’s blog on June 23, 2014.
Adams County Arts Council member Carol Herren Foerster has been sharing her drawings in Adams County for more than 25 years, but she recently recommitted herself to “really doing her art.”
Unexpected family obligations that arose earlier in her career made it impossible for Carol to finish her teaching certification, despite finishing a Bachelor’s degree in art. Later, a work-related injury left her legally disabled with Radial Tunnel Syndrome in her right arm. Carol says it’s no coincidence that drawing is the one activity that doesn’t aggravate the disorder. The fine detail of her work is further evidence that drawing is what she is called to do.
Carol’s first priority has always been her family. Though her two children and four step-children are now grown, her house still often bustles with the sounds of little people – her grandchildren – for whom she cares while their parents are working. As a younger mom, she worked odd jobs here and there, squeezing in time to draw when she could. Since her own children are now grown, she is enjoying the freedom to pursue her drawing more seriously, particularly since the youngest grandchild is out of diapers.
She also credits a sense of artistic liberation to Facebook and social media. Since posting her work on Facebook, the overwhelmingly positive responses have allowed her to let go of self-imposed angst and inhibition surrounding her abilities as an artist. Her confidence has snowballed over the past few years, during which she has not only improved her skills, but she has also entered more shows and contests, and won a few awards. Last summer, after receiving a congratulatory letter from Pennsylvania Senator Richard Alloway III, her art was displayed at the Art of the State Show at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg. She also had work shown at the Salmagundi Club in New York City. Because she practices her art and submits her work without expectation or worry, the notifications of awards and acceptances like these feel like happy surprises.
When asked about her plans for the future, Carol says, “I’m no longer taking commissions. I just draw what I want.” An earlier plan to draw a series of women’s portraits evolved into a beautiful, eclectic collection of subjects that were on display at the ACAC Education Center last May. She looks forward to another show at ACAC in April of 2015. To prepare for that show and other upcoming events, Carol says she will just “go with the flow and follow inspiration.” It’s a tactic that has been serving her well so far.
Contact her through Facebook or at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about purchasing her drawings.