Carmen Sheldon is a retired graphic design instructor, author and artist who makes her home in Sonoma County with her husband, Greg Sheldon. For over thirty years, Carmen was the Coordinator of the Graphic Design Program at Santa Rosa Junior College. She loves design and teaching students how to create effective visual communications using their creativity and computer skills. Nevertheless, she enjoys the hands-on directness of creating fine art pieces. Now that she doesn’t have the time consuming responsibility of running a graphic design program and teaching a full load of classes, Carmen is finding the time to share her fine art creativity with the public.
Carmen has always loved painting. As a young, graphic design student, she took as many painting classes and workshops as she could fit into her busy design curriculum. Some of them were inspirational and very helpful in her growth as a painter. However, as she was pursuing her degree in Advertising Design during a time when painting landscapes was not something pursed in most college painting courses, so for much of her life Carmen had to rely on books, a few workshops and her own practice to develop her skills.
After graduation with a Bachelors Degree in Advertising Design from Pacific Union College in Angwin, California 1983, Carmen worked as a graphic design professional in several studios and partnerships until she accepted a job as the Coordinator for the Graphic Design Program at Santa Rosa Junior College. Carmen lead that program for over thirty years. She took the program from a totally hands-on approach to graphic design in the 1980’s to the digitally based industry standard it is today.
Carmen wrote a book with her dear friend, Robin Williams in 2010 titled Handmade Design for the Digital Designers where she shared a lot of techniques using art skills for creating images to be incorporated into visual communications. She used it as a textbook for her popular class: Handmade Design for Digital Designers.
After retiring from her full time job at Santa Rosa Junior College in 2016, Carmen started painting again. For much of her life watercolors has been her medium of choice, but when she needed a massive painting for the living room of her new home, she started trying her hand at oils. Using a lot of the art techniques she taught her students in the Handmade Design for Digital Designers class, she found the textural short hand that inspires her landscapes today. Her husband, Greg Sheldon, encouraged her to start showing her work in their spot at Modern Antiquarium in Healdsburg where they sell industrial antiques together. “ Let’s make our spot look like our home,” he said. “That way people can see how to use these lovely, old, pieces we collect such as camera’s and scales mixed with your art.” It was a great idea and the art started selling right along with the fire extinguishers and pulleys.
Carmen is very excited about joining Art Trails and is working hard to have a variety of landscape watercolor and oil paintings to share.