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Caroline Wheaton

Caroline splits her time between London and Chamonix painting mountainscapes under the name Chalet Art. Have a read to see what makes her tick!

You're a proud owner of the Earles. When do they most come in handy?

They’re most useful when I’m painting as I have to constantly change perspectives to make sure I’m on the right track. At one moment, I’m close up focusing on a section of the canvas and the next, I’m stepping away to take the picture in as a whole. Previously, glasses have made me feel dizzy because my eyesight isn't that terrible, whereas my ByOculars encourage my good vision while also allowing me to benefit from the lenses for close-ups.

Prior to becoming a fully fledged artist, you worked in the corporate field. Did you find it challenging balancing your 9 to 5 with your creative needs?

It was tricky but I was lucky because my daughter has always been creative so we’d paint together at the weekends when I wasn't working. It was such a great way to de-stress from the office, especially since my 9 to 5 was more like 7 to 9! Painting is so mindful as it takes up your entire being. Sculpting is even better as it’s wholly absorbing physically and mentally. The problem with trying to balance a 9 to 5 with art is that you’re only rewarded through practice. No matter how good you are, you need to spend time perfecting your craft. Having left my job has enabled me to improve and pursue art wholeheartedly.

You now run Chalet Art. Tell us about the moment you fell in love with mountainous landscapes.

I fell in love with my husband, a mountaineer and skier, so mountains came with him! When I first saw the mountains, not only was I awestruck, I also realised how many people were in love with them. Really, it’s people that interest me and painting mountainscapes is a wonderful way to interact with people. When you give back a commission, you’re handing back a visualised memory, whether that’s the view from someone’s garden window or an image of their kids skiing their first green slope. In this way, Chalet Art’s been unexpectedly rewarding and is reason enough to keep going!

What's your preferred media and why?

Acrylic because it has the expression of oil but is easier to use. I’m a very messy artist, which doesn't lend itself well to oil as it takes several days to dry, during which you can’t even walk past the canvas for fear of upsetting the paint. Saying that, I like to paint for everyone and cater to their tastes so I often end up using different mediums. I enjoy challenging myself!

Instagram, love or loathe?

Learning to love. I’m not a natural but I imagine that’s largely generational. Instagram’s a great visual platform that opens up channels of conversation with a new audience My only problem is that I’m still not entirely sure how to reach that audience. I have had a few cases of people randomly getting in touch but I’d love to increase my exposure.

‘they’re most useful when I’m painting as I have to constantly change perspectives’

When wearing your ByOculars, who do you imagine is your celebrity doppelgänger?

Ha! Well, I’ve always been told that me and Emma Thompson look a bit similar, If I really did look like her, I’d love it — that is one person I would definitely not mind being mistaken for!


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