Cara Hines started her life as an artist growing up in Childress, Texas. If she could draw, cut, color, paint, construct, or glue with it, she did. As they often do, school and career steered her in more pragmatic directions. She graduated in 1998 from Texas Tech with a Bachelor of Interior Design with Architecture and Business minors. She went on to work at a top International commercial architecture and interior design firm in Houston on large and small high-end corporate projects. In 2003, she ran screaming from the corporate ladder. She followed her brother and her desire for a healthier lifestyle to the extraordinary beauty of the Rocky Mountains, and moved to Denver, Colorado. There she had her own interior design practice as well as worked in various sales, marketing, event coordination and client relations capacities within the design industry.
The sudden violent death of her brother in late 2010, led her to ask hard questions about what was truly important to her. She knew sitting at a computer and building other people’s dreams was not it. And she was beginning to understand striving for perfection was keeping her from happy. Thus, garnered by a new respect for how impermanent and unpredictable life is, she acted on one of her long-time dreams: she bought a vintage travel trailer and hit the road without a schedule. Along the way she rediscovered the playful artist she’d left behind in childhood. Driven by an almost primal need to express something authentic, she began by closing her eyes and responding to the energy she perceived within her, often as she listened to live music sessions in Austin where she spent a great deal of time, and capturing that on the paper, board, or whatever was in front of her. She worked with materials she had on hand or could easily obtain from salvage yards, construction demolition sites, or found on her walks with her Jack Russell Terrier, and could manage from her 90sf travel trailer.
She continues working in much the same ways and often with reclaimed existing materials because she believes there is more than enough in the world from which to create decades of art without manufacturing very much else. And because she derives great pleasure and satisfaction from “revisioning” things for which others have no vision.
Cara now lives near Abilene, Texas, with her partner, Ernest. She works primarily out of her sunroom studio at their home, and her 1966 Shasta travel trailer, which functions as a part-time art studio and gallery on wheels...because she has an extraordinarily difficult time staying put for long. And because life is too short--no matter how long it is--not to explore, ask questions, connect with people of all sorts, delight in imperfections, and follow* dreams.
* She generally finds it difficult to follow anything...rules, crowds, routines, formulas, well-worn paths, recipes, plans, instructions, trends, the news, interstates, politicians, circular reasoning, or schedules. Her dreams and her heart are the exceptions.
Oops! Make no mistake about it. Make life art.
This body of work was created in the form of a self-actualized ritual. They are my process of letting go of control and the pain that goes with trying to hold on to it.
Some of these works I created in part or entirely with my eyes closed without concern for what I’m imparting onto the surface. I disempower my inner perfectionist, and focus on how my body feels as it responds to music, sounds of nature, my thoughts and emotions. With eyes open, I respond to what’s in front of me, with the intention that whatever mark, smudge, rip, color or squirt I make is responding to the whole as it exists only in that moment.
I work primarily with previously discarded materials. The panels are reclaimed hollow-core doors, sanded to expose storied layers of paint and raw wood. Others are masonite, plywood, furniture, lumber, mat drops, stray pieces of paper and cardboard. I use a combination of newsprint, tissue paper, junk mail, periodicals, found objects, charcoal, soft pastels, oil pastels, India ink, artist acrylics, abandoned house paint, sandpaper, lavender water, sun, spit, tears, time, and occasionally bird droppings or wayward insects. I finish them with hand-mixed varnish, my own beeswax/linseed oil paste, or spray varnish. The frames I craft from found lumber, and are easily removed.
These artworks will change as they collude with sunlight, temperature, chemicals, and time. Nature is not static, permanent or perfect, and I do not intend these pieces to be. They are as imperfect, impermanent, and perpetually incomplete as we are.
artist in process