As a painter working in oils, Carroll Collier approaches the landscape with a rare sense of calm and serenity characteristic of the French Barbizon school. These mid-nineteenth century painters who thrived on plein-air painting and the bold use of pigment are credited with paving the way for the impressionistic movement. Their work reflected a quiet love for nature and embraced a dreamlike quality with soft edges and subdued, yet pure, color. Using a palette knife almost exclusively, Carroll Collier brings this same painterly style to canvas capturing the peacefulness of small town life, a tranquil landscape at dusk, or the solitude of the sun dancing on coastal waters.
Growing up in Dallas during the Depression, Collier received his initial art training from a cousin who was a commercial illustrator. When he joined the army at the beginning of World War II, he was fortunate to receive an art-related assignment, designing and illustrating training manuals. These were formative years for Collier. Here, he met other young artists, many of whom had formal art school training or were teachers themselves. This interaction – the sharing of ideas, techniques, and philosophies – provided the impetus for his developing talent.
Collier pursued a 26 year career in Dallas as a highly successful commercial artist, producing award-winning illustrations for many prestigious accounts – Texas Instruments, Dr Pepper, Braniff, the Southland Corporation. In the 1970’s, he and his wife, Mildred, moved to the rural community of Forney to paint full time. Here, amongst the hayfields and cloud laden skies, this modest, unassuming man began his career as a fine artist.