Artist Spotlight Series: Carlyle Wolfe

I am long overdue with sharing this talented artist.

I am mesmerized by her vibrant works. 

“Carlyle Wolfe’s paintings & works on paper are about an awareness of the natural world—becoming progressively, cyclically more present to its rhythms, gaining deeper understanding of its design, & acquiring direct experiential knowledge of its mysterious beauty.”

Enjoy getting to know

Carlyle Wolfe

Oxford, Mississippi 



What is your training? 

BFA – Painting, University of Mississippi, 2000

MFA – Painting & Drawing, Louisiana State University, 2004


What inspires you and your designs?

My paintings and works on paper are about awareness of the natural world—becoming progressively, cyclically more present to its rhythms, gaining deeper understanding of its design, and acquiring direct experiential knowledge of its mysterious beauty.

Since 2001, I have been making contour line drawings of plants.  From the drawings, I isolate silhouette shapes that I cut out of paper and use as stencils to make oil paintings and works on paper – or cut out of metal to make sculptures. My work is cumulative in nature – gradually marking time and seasonal change, unity and variety, individual and collective beauty. 


What is your favorite piece? 

Favor isn’t an exclusive term for me.  I favor different aspects of each work.  That said, this morning I have been enjoying Summer Garden.  It’s a 4’ x 10’ diptych oil on panel with a color palette related to the backdrops I’ve painted for Camp DeSoto since I was in junior high.  Today, I am adapting imagery from the painting to use as album artwork for my friend Caroline Herring’s new project – Verses.

How has the your area influenced your work?

I am thankful to live and work in a very supportive community.

What is your favorite restaurant in Oxford?

Oxford Canteen, Tarasque, Living Foods, St. Leo, Snackbar

City Grocery, Ravine 

Too many great places in Oxford to choose just one!

 What is your favorite cocktail?

I usually choose wine.  St. Leo in Oxford always has a great wine list.  

How do you balance personal life and work?

My schedule is always changing.  I tend to have long lists and a good bit of flexibility with my time.  My most sustainable, productive routines prioritize balance.  

Every Wednesday morning I ride horses with a group of people I enjoy.  Sometimes I can’t believe that I’m taking that time off in the middle of the week, but it is consistently restorative for me and simply necessary for my young horse, Posy.  

Since college, I have kept up a quirky habit of meticulously recording how I spend my time in my At-A-Glance calendar books.  Recently I realized the habit has also been very helpful for planning. 

Dream trip?

Last summer, I spent a dreamy few days in London art museums ahead of a family wedding in the Cotswolds.  I hadn’t been to Europe since I studied in Cortona, Italy in college, and it was wonderful again.


As I read about interesting art destinations – studios, museums, and gardens, I add them to a Google Map.  At some point, I want to tour the facilities where my paints are made.  

Dream commission?

One day, I’d like to make a site-specific panoramic painting – an immersive environment.

Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?

My pattern of gift-giving is pretty sporadic.   I tend to give thoughtful gifts occasionally but miss a lot of routine opportunities.

This lemon cheesecake is my most recent hostess gift success.  My cousin got the recipe from The Hoka – a favorite Oxford hangout that closed in the 90s.

Who is your style icon?

I especially admire my Godmother, Aunt Polly, who designed and sewed most of my childhood wardrobe (along with much of her own) – for her exceptional skill, extravagant generosity, and especially for the way that she used her gifts to make me feel so loved.  

Your favorite up and coming artist?

A number of my former students in the University of Mississippi art department are making exciting work.


What is your most treasured possession?

My terriers, Buddy and Harry, and my horse, Posy (now 5).

What are you reading?

What are you listening to?

Thad Lee curates great music playlists for me.  While mixing paint, I love to listen to audiobooks.  

What are your favorite blogs / publications?

The content on museum websites keeps getting better and better.

Check out her stunning work via her website. Follow Carlyle on Instagram too.

Gallery representation through Spalding Nix Fine Art, David Lusk Gallery, & Cole Pratt Gallery

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