Colorful Conversations: Exploring the Creative World of Caroline Geys
10/12/2023 | Madison Pfeifle |
Caroline Geys, an artist and designer based in the vibrant city of Los Angeles, seamlessly weaves diverse color palettes into her creative endeavors. Most known for her distinctive murals, original prints, and captivating digital art, Caroline has left an indelible mark on the artistic landscape. Her portfolio boasts collaborations with prominent clients, showcasing a career rich in imaginative flair. We recently had a conversation with Caroline about a specially curated mural she recently completed for a client’s residence in Palm Springs, CA.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
My design aesthetic ranges from linear to organic, precision line work to expressionism, colorful, optimistic, and directional. Long inspired by topography, architecture, infrastructure, connections amalgamated between people, cities, and nature.
How has your aesthetic evolved over time?
From every series and project, my work continues to evolve as it draws from the past and nostalgia, how it speaks to me today, and how future thoughts impact what I experiment with. I have been a perfectionist since I was young and my linear and shaped work speaks to that. I also feel it is important to create with expressionism and how it can represent the moment I am in in my life and in my studio and out of the studio.
What made the Palm Springs mural you recently did special?
Every project is special because my heart, hard work, and skills are poured into each. Finishing projects with the utmost detail and care while building a wonderful relationship with each client based on transparent communication, trust, and always humor sprinkled in.
Your Palm Springs mural features colors from Dunn-Edwards 2023 Color + Design Trends, including the 2023 Color of the Year, Terra Rosa (DE5096). Why were you inspired to use colors from this collection?
Since I have been working with your company, I have enjoyed following your trends and incorporating them into a custom palette that amalgamates our favorites together while creating its own trend.
How did you like using Dunn-Edwards EVERSHIELD® for this exterior project?
EVERSHIELD® has been superb for each mural I have painted. Smooth for application, consistency in color, and longevity. I completed a mural on the rooftop of the loft complex I live in back in December 2020. The mural gets nonstop sunshine throughout the day. The color has not faded one bit. It’s so important to use products like yours that will last and I can share with clients of its longevity for their mural investment.
Where did you draw inspiration from when designing the mural?
The mural design was a combination of the client’s mood board and previous designs of mine that we both felt could have its own elements to create a beautiful site-specific work for their home, courtyard, and desert landscapes. Bauhaus, Belgian design, and how movement provides optimism and direction.
What challenges, if any, do you face when painting exterior murals?
There can be multiple challenges. Whether I am working on an interior or exterior mural, every mural and site is different. Wall surfaces and depending on what they are have a scale of least challenging to most challenging. For example, drywall is the most simple of the surfaces while older brick and porous concrete are more difficult because of the texture and how much of your hand strength you need to use along with precision.
Depending on the location of the mural and if you can make a site visit prior to submitting an estimate is key unless you have several photos and videos showing the walls and surroundings.
Weather can be another challenge. While I have not had to paint in extreme cold, I have had to paint in extreme heat in Palm Springs and LA, both inside and outside. If I’m in a building that is a construction site and does not have AC yet, I will ensure there are fans on site or I can bring one if there is electricity or a battery operated one. Keeping hydrated, healthy meals, music, and stretching are important to me. The physical aspect is always a challenge as well because it is hard on the body and being fit is important. Cardio, light weight/high repetition and pilates training is a part of my exercise routine in between murals. On mural days, I use ice packs and tiger balm patches.
Sometimes a site has elevation differences so if you’re completing a design that involves measuring and linework, any elevation difference can skew the perspective. There becomes an abstract math to what is calculated correctly and what looks visually straight.
Every shade of color requires a different number of coats and if you have not worked with the color before, you can underestimate how many coats a color will need to look perfect without streaks. This is also in application. With large areas of paint required and line work that is either organic or linear, incorporating large to small rollers/sponges and large to small paintbrushes. I use a combination of your brushes and my fine art brushes for detail work.
Completing a project on schedule can be a challenge when there may be issues on site. In three murals over the last year that required taped line work. Each taped line I seal to ensure that paint does not bleed through for less touch ups in the end. All three endured layers of primer or the paint before that came off with the tape so you have to fix it. This can be caused by heat, moisture, mold, or how and when the primer was applied previously. Taped line work is harder for brick and porous concrete vs drywall because of the touch up so there will always be more touch up work.
With every mural and site, I learn more about wall designs and the surfaces, and myself. Overcoming challenges and through the frustration that can occur makes us grow and become smarter with each project.
What is your favorite Dunn-Edwards color?
What's next for you and your future projects?
I just completed a few projects that I’m in the process of sharing and announcing soon. I received a grant from LA River Arts & Business Association a few months ago. I had been prepping the sustainable hosiery pieces for an exterior public art installation in my studio. The installation debuted on August 5 for BridgeFest located at the base of the 6th Street Viaduct Bridge in my neighborhood of the Arts District in LA.
I completed a large-scale mural prior to the install for a new restaurant opening in Eagle Rock in LA, Taco/Social, that opened mid-September. Their design team conceptualized the mural design, and I transferred the design by tracing large graphic prints that I scaled and painted each panel.
Over the last several months, I have been designing and fabricating new module sculptures to release in the coming month or so. I fabricated the first over a year ago and am expanding on that piece.
I have a few projects in the pipeline that I cannot speak about yet.
As always and constant, I am painting, drawing, and digital designing in my studio experimenting in new series.
What is your favorite Dunn-Edwards color?
Haha, I can’t answer that! I have used Dunn-Edwards on so many projects and I’m obsessed with the variety of hues, the way the colors sing together, and how you can completely transform a space with color!