Friday, October 05, 2012

Painter/Cyclist Carola Locke and our Texas Mountains

Carola Locke at Fort Davis' Indian Lodge
Through friends, we met painter/cyclist Carola Locke who's impressed us with her story as well as her startingly realistic works about cycling...take a look!

"36 Trinity" by Carola Locke

"My grandparents lived in Midland and we would visit every year. Well, as there is almost nothing to do other than look at a crater and go to an oil museum in Midland/Odessa, they would take us on road trips to Balmorhea, Carlesbad, and especially, McDonald Observatory. As we were traveling with senior citizens when we would go to the observatory, we would just tour it and then leave. I always wanted to hike the trails and scramble on the big rocks, but we never had the time. As a kid I loved visiting these areas, but as an adult could never remember quite where anything was. So, I told my husband about these lovely mountains somewhere my grandparents had taken me long ago, but I never thought I'd see them again."

Why do I ride?

"My husband did it. I had ridden a bit as a child, but never even considered it as an adult. It was one of those "impossible" things that gifted athletes did. However, shortly after being married, my husband found me an old steal road bike, rebuilt it, and gave it to me. I fearfully started riding it, but soon enough remembered what to do, and was thrilled with the rush and freedom which riding invokes. That was about 10yrs ago. Riding a bike, whether for exercise, to commute, for socialization, or for therapy, has encouraged me to tackle fears which, otherwise, I never would have been brave enough to encounter. Riding has taught me to pace myself in life, and not to expect instant results. It has helped me learn that like riding up a hill, sometimes everything sucks, but it is only for a time; you will eventually fly down the other side.

"The Guru" by Carola Locke
Now flash forward to 2006. My hubby decides to go to some ride called Cyclefest with one of his buddies. When he returns to Fort Worth from the ride he tells me "Pack up! I'm taking you and the kids to the mountains!" So we drove out there. Let me tell you, when I realized where we were, my joy knew no bounds. We camped at the state park and I hiked, and hiked, and hiked. The kids love it. I loved it. We love the cactus, the rocks, tarantulas, the cool ants that trample the grass. The next year my husband and I came out together to ride Cyclefest, and while it is the hardest ride I've done yet, it is also my favorite. The clean air and clear night sky, being able to see for miles, this area is my favorite in Texas. I've ridden the 75m route three times now, and hope to ride it many more times. (I rode it last in 2011. We were there last September, but I opted to spend the wet day hiking instead of on the bike.)"

Now to the art:

"Calf, de calf"
by Carola Locke
"About 10yrs ago (oddly the same time I began riding), I picked up a paintbrush and began trying to hone my skills. I painted a lot of people, beer, and nature themed pieces, but it wasn't until three years ago that I found my niche in painting bikes and their riders. The first piece I tried, "The Guru", floored me with how well it turned out. Usually, when I finish a painting I stand back and am amazed. It doesn't even feel like I painted them sometimes. I began showing my work 2yrs ago. I love watching people enjoy the work I've done. Art allows me to meet people and travel and connect. As I meet cyclists at events I am flooded with new ideas and inspiration. Sometimes, I'll be at a ride and see a really neat bike and will walk up and say "I don't know you, but you have a great bike. Can I photograph it and paint it?" Let me tell you, that's a great way to make a new friend! There is much truth to the term "starving artist", as it is a difficult field to make a name in, but I consider myself lucky that I've managed to incorporate my gift (painting) with my passion (cycling). If I make money at an event, great, but if I leave having talked to other cyclists and gained new inspiration, that is often better.

At this time my cycling paintings are exclusively displayed at Knobbies and Slicks in Colleyville, TX. It's website is My website is My email is I have 2013 calendars available and prints of most of my paintings. Most of the originals are for sale as well. Also, I am on Facebook at "
"Chain Gang" by Carola Locke
 Did you hear that?  2013 Calendars!  Sounds like a holiday gift idea to us!  Thanks to Carola for sharing her story of her love for our mountains as well as her wonderful paintings!

1 comment:

Michelle said...

What a wonderful inspiration to just "get out and try something"! Beautiful and realistic paintings! We are going to have to go see the paintings in Colleyville. Thanks!