Painting the reflective and peaceful qualities of quiet waters is often the subject of Iris’s work. Her studio in California, "Still Waters Studio” overflows with oil and pastel paintings that exemplify its name. The vibrant colors of her impressionistic style express both passion and tranquility creating an “enigma” as one admirer expressed. The serene effect of her paintings is quickly bringing Iris the reputation of a “painter of peace”.
Iris Carignan was born in the small town of Americus, Georgia and was raised primarily in California. Her art has evolved beautifully since her first oil lessons at age 9. She earned her Associate Degree in Fine art from Moorpark College and also studied at Art Center College of Design, California Art Institute, and with various private instructors including Hal Reed. While Iris appreciates the skills learned through education, she attributes the greater value of her work to her deep spiritual faith.
Her oil and pastel paintings are in corporate and private collections throughout the world including Paris, France. Among the many collectors is former President Jimmy Carter.. Iris’ paintings have earned several Best of Show, and numerous First, Second and Third Place juried art show awards. Most recently she won Best of Show, First, Second and Honorable Mention in the Professional division of the Ventura County Fair. With so many ribbons under her belt, the Westlake Village Art guild honored Iris as one of their top award winning artists in the 21st Century. The art exhibit “Simply the Best” displayed her work alongside several other award winning artists that year.
Her recently published books, “Fresh Eyes: Seeing God in the Unexpected,” and “Moriah’s Wings,” has added the title of author/illustrator to her resume of accomplishments. Fresh Eyes: Seeing God in the Unexpected was written from an artist’s perspective, and includes many of her original poems too. Moriah’s Wings is a chaptered book for children 7 to 11 and was fully illustrated by Iris. She has also been published in four full color calendars as a result of jury awards. In 2003 the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Center chose to exhibit her work. She has exhibited in two solo art shows since her career began with great success as well. In 2001 her painting “Sunrise on Trinity” won the honor of being chosen in the top 200 paintings for the National Arts for the Parks competition. She has also exhibited in several prestigious Art galleries, including the Richard Danskin Art gallery in Palm Desert.
In the Spring of 1999 Iris organized and led a group of 14 artists for a workshop in France. They painted in Paris and Provence. The highlight of the tour was an exclusive day of painting in Monet’s gardens in Giverny, France. Iris has since produced many beautiful works as a result of this marvelous tour and numerous other travels.
Whether Iris is capturing a scene in Paris, France or her own home town, creation flows from her Still Waters Studio in Southern California.