Biographical details can be found in the reviews which are included here, especially the long, scholarly one written by Mr. Kevin Costello (a museum curator in Adelaide, Australia) which is titled, "The Littoralist Paintings etc." Also included is "Twilight Seas", an article by author Thom Elkjer. However colorful or entertaining such information may be, I must insist that, in my own estimation, such data is entirely
irrelevant. THE WORK SHOULD SPEAK FOR ITSELF. Our experience of a work of art should never be tainted by any reaction to the circumstances, conduct, or personality of the artist, however sordid or saintly they may have been.
Carson C.T. Collins
The Littoralist Paintings of Carson Collins
It is evident when engaged in conversation with the painter Carson Collins that one is discussing issues with a warm and literate man. The subject of his art is the four elements in their most majestic setting - the shoreline: earth, air, fire, and water. The artist has at one and the same time an ebullient nature and the ‘gravitas’ of original introspection. Tall and of large trim frame, his bearing strikes one as being in stark contrast to the fragile glazed surfaces and delicate analogous tonalities of color to be seen in his seascape paintings.
Of his personal history he will tell you that he is of Irish and Cherokee ancestry and that he was born on the 25th November 1953 in Tulsa, Oklahoma; the family relocating to Longboat Key Florida in 1958. With pride he will describe his mother who holds a Masters degree in art education and who home schooled her son in the techniques of painting in oil and water color before he was ten years old.
When reminiscing about his father, his speech slows down, his eyes narrow, and his large frame becomes restive and curved. He will tell you that his father received a full disability pension from the army, after which he became a lawyer, who due to his severe injuries in WW II remained mentally in that conflict for the rest of his life.
As for the artist himself, the Vietnam war affected his life. The fact that he had been drafted interrupted his plans to study art at university and redirected for a brief time his artistic ambitions to those of medicine. After high school, Collins received B.A. degrees in psychology and chemistry at the University of South Florida at Tampa in 1973. Four years later he received his M.D. from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. “I never did my internship but in 1978 quit allopathic practice in order to concentrate on painting full-time.”
A passionate traveller, he has since painted in Mauritius in view of the Indian Ocean, the Stockholm Archipellago in the Baltic Sea, St. Barthelemy in the West Indes, Honolulu, Manhattan and most recently, Costa Rica, Central America. Throughout his travels the relationship of the sky to the sea in his “Ocean Series” has been the central motif of his painting. The first paintings of the series began on St. Barthelemy in 1978, the concept being a focused space into which his mythopoeic imagination has poured its colors.
In a more precise and unc