Through line, shape, and structure, Carolyn Reed Barritt investigates character and place, creating narratives and identities that often affect each other. Fluctuating between painting, drawing, and sculpture, Barritt combines disparate, yet individually familiar elements to form new, off-balance realities. Barritt creates her artwork with a combination of drawing and painting on both paper and canvas, and makes marks in acrylic, ink, graphite, dry pigment, oil pastel, oil stick, spray paint, with palette knives and her fingers. Her sculptural works incorporate a diverse spectrum of materials, both natural and man-made, including sticks, wood, metal, and glass. Generally she works in series, creating artworks that explore particular ideas and concepts mined from a wide range of topics. Barritt's artwork moves between spontaneity and deliberation; between stream-of-consciousnesses and controlled mark-making. She draws and redraws. Sometimes Barritt adds and obliterates marks and color, at turns erasing, concealing, and revealing. The end result is hopefully, as Helen Frankenthaler said, of “one really beautiful wrist motion that is synchronized with (my) head and heart ... and therefore it looks as if it were born in a minute.”
Barritt grew up in Carlton Minnesota and received a BA in Art from Macalester College in St. Paul Minnesota. Her artwork has been exhibited nationally, including at Site:Brooklyn (New York), Dab Art (Ventura, California) and the Alexandria Museum, (Alexandria, Louisiana). In 2014 she was selected as one of the first Visual Artists in Residence at the University of Michigan Musical Society. She lives and works in Ann Arbor Michigan.