Holladay Artist of the Month hopes to bring beauty into people’s livesFeb 08, 2021 10:54AM ● By Sona Schmidt Harris
Carolee Glaittli displays one of her resin paintings inspired by the ocean. (Photo courtesy of Carolee Glaittli)
By Sona Schmidt-Harris | [email protected]
Using her alert eyes, which sometimes flash turquoise, and quick, agile hands, Carolee Glaittli creates artwork ranging from tightly controlled watercolor paintings to free-flowing resin aerial ocean scenes.
Glaittli, a graduate of both Olympus Junior High School and Olympus High School, knew she wanted to be an artist at a young age when painting with her grandmother, the late Viola Thompson, a long-time Holladay resident.
“She made it seem so exciting and fun. It seemed a bit magical to me, and she was always so generous with her time and letting me paint on her pictures,” Glaittli said. She recalled painting with her grandmother outdoors when a crowd began to form. “I sat back and watched my grandma talk and laugh and start handing her paintbrush to strangers to ‘make a little dab. Go on! You can't hurt it.’ Viola W. Thompson was a creative, loving legend,” she said.
With a bachelor’s in Fine Art with an emphasis in Painting and Drawing and a minor in Art History from the University of Utah, Glaittli has evolved as an artist. “I go through phases where I'm absolutely loving oil, then watercolor. Right now, I'm working in alcohol inks making abstract landscapes and also working in resin. Resin is an epoxy, and it’s so fun to create with,” she said. Her resin paintings are primarily inspired by the ocean—particularly near the Cayman Islands. “I became utterly obsessed with the color of the water there.”
In her 30s, Glaittli experienced some health problems. Though at times challenging, she has persevered and found creative ways to help support not only her art, but her family. “When the kids were young, we were living in Sandy, and I was struggling with my health and had started a yoga class to try and feel better. I did a painting of orchids for the yoga studio, and a woman who was working there as a massage therapist reached out and left word at the front desk that she was interested in trading massage for a painting. I was thrilled! She gave me a massage every week, and I did a huge painting of a lotus flower for her, and we became dear friends.” Glaittli became an excellent barterer even trading large oil paintings for orthodontic services for her four children. She noted that made her husband Patrick happy.
Being an artist and mother was fulfilling and fun for her. “I taught a lot of art classes at my kids’ schools over the years, and it was always exciting for them to have their mom there and teaching an art class at school,” she said.
Glaittli was accepted into the Springville Art Show and also received an award at the Utah State Fair. But the thing that thrills her the most about her work is that it is spread throughout the world—Australia, Canada, all over the U.S., Europe and Taiwan.
She is devoting more and more time to her art since the quarantine, and it is paying off with her website and art shows.
Though she enjoys the accolades, bartering and financial benefits, in the end, she simply wants to add a little beauty to people’s lives. “Life is tough for so many, and I love the idea of bringing something beautiful into a person’s personal space in life,” she said. “The biggest compliment I get is when a client tells me how a painting just brings them peace.”
In addition to her work exhibited at Holladay City Hall throughout the month of February, Glaittli’s work will also be displayed at the Utah Art Market Feb. 4-6 and 11-13 at Foothill Village in the old Stein Mart. “There are many amazing artists under one roof,” she said.
If you would like to see more of her work, visit www.sunlightstudioarts.com and on Instagram @sunlightstudioart.
If you would like to nominate a Holladay resident for Artist of the Month, visit: holladayarts.org/suggest-an-artist.