As a young girl, Carol Wallace dreamed of an eventual career in fashion. Although her younger years ultimately led her down a different path, her vision recently came to fruition with the launch of a luxury scarf line inspired by her artwork.
It all began with a collaboration between Wallace, a Barkhamsted resident; and Pam Kubbins, a Boston fashion designer. The two women became acquainted and decided to work together on a project which would combine Kubbins’ pashmina scarves with Wallace’s “Wild Roses” watercolor painting.
“It is special to me to have my art featured on these beautiful scarves,” Wallace said during a recent interview from her home. “I am grateful to Pam for having given me the opportunity to work with her and follow the path I’ve dreamed of so many years ago.”
Wallace explained that Kubbins uses an innovative graphic design printing process in order to create pieces of wearable art on lightweight organic cotton fabric. It was through this unique technology that Kubbins was able to translate Wallace’s original painting into a collection of three scarves. The line is available in three colors — lilac and pink, turquoise and purple and fuschia and pink.
According to Kubbins, it was Wallace’s artistic abilities and use of color that first attracted her attention. “Her art has a beautiful, ethereal, Impressionistic quality,” Kubbins said.
The “Wild Roses” collection made its debut in late February at the Connecticut Flower & Garden Show in Hartford, where the scarves were well-received by attendees, Wallace said. The collection will next appear at the Newport Flower & Garden Show from June 23 to 25.
In addition to multiple trade shows, Kubbins also sells her scarves through her business, Pam’s Pashminas and Exotic Scarves. Her products are available at her studio, on Etsy, a few select boutique galleries and through her website: www.pamspashminas.com.
Later this year, Kubbins will introduce more scarves based on Wallace’s work that will be appropriate for the fall and winter seasons.
The partnership is literally a dream come true for Wallace. “I am in awe of Pam’s energy, vision, and commitment to quality, and I’m thrilled that she has made a lifelong dream of mine become a reality,” she said.
Wallace went on to explain that although her initial vision was to pursue a career in fashion during the earlier years of her life, she took a detour in another direction.
“Arriving at a crossroads in my life after high school, I chose the road of travel and adventure by going to airline school rather than fashion design school,” she said. “My childhood dream of being a fashion designer may have dimmed from time to time during my lifetime, but it never completely disappeared.”
After a time, Wallace married, began a family, and resumed her childhood hobby of drawing and painting in her spare time. Her favorite pastime eventually led to a career in fine art, where she worked as an artist represented by galleries in Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
Wallace has always been inspired by the beauty of nature, and has used this as a subject for much of her artwork. She enjoys driving on the back roads in Litchfield County, finding scenes to draw and paint in an effort to recreate the charm and beauty of those locations.
Wallace explained that her pen and ink drawings that were inspired by many of these drives appeared in Litchfield County Times from 1984 to 1995, during her time as a contributing artist for the newspaper.
“I try to capture the romance of a county road or the mystery of an old barn,” she said. “I want viewers to search within themselves and bring back their own memories.”
Wallace’s work has included a diverse array of projects throughout her career. Through the years, she has evolved into a commissioned artist, illustrator, and designer. She regularly licenses her artwork to publishing companies and manufacturers, who in turn create an assortment of upscale items bearing her distinct drawings and paintings in their design. The merchandise has included a plethora of products including jigsaw puzzles, journals, calendars, streetlight banners, woven tapestries and wedding invitations.
Another venture that Wallace is particularly proud of is her “Preserve America” project, which she founded in 1997 with the goal of combining fine art with the preservation of American history. As part of the endeavor, Wallace created a collection of custom note cards and montage posters for various municipalities, hotels, museums, restaurants and historic landmarks.
According to Wallace, several of her Preserve America montage posters are archived in the Library of Congress Print Collection and used by the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History for educational and research purposes.
“I am particularly proud to have helped preserve our country’s history,” Wallace said. “It is my hope these creations will aid in understanding and appreciating our heritage, for both today’s young people and future generations.”
In addition to the recent launch of her scarf line, Wallace also released her first book several years ago, adding yet another accomplishment to her already diverse resume. Wallace wrote and illustrated “Daisy’s Reality Show Adventure,” which she describes on her website as a humorous novella, appropriate for all ages. “The book tackles a lot of cultural issues and imparts some important life lessons,” she said.
Additional information about Wallace’s endeavors is available on her website, www.carolwallace.com.