When Carrie Kaplan arrived in Aspen seven years ago, she was just passing through town with a friend who was moving west from South Beach.
But something about this place spoke to her, and instead of continuing on with her friend, Kaplan set up camp here permanently.
“It was just one of those moments when you surrender to wherever life is taking you” she says of the decision to stay.
Since then, Kaplan, who was trained as a dancer before she found painting, has been making a name for herself-both locally and nationally- as an artist whose colorful, emotional pieces call to mind everyone from Ludwig to Kirchner to Matisse. She has done commissioned painting for restaurants Phat Thai and Elevation but relies primarily on commissions from individuals to keep her out of the starving-artist category.
“People come to me” she says about the success of her work, and she calls her increasingly high artistic profile “a gradual process.” “When I see people connecting to my work,” she says, “it’s a total manifestation of self and spirit.”