Encinitas artist sees nature in an intense light


For fine artist Carole Mayne, the capturing of a landscape, a still life or a flower is not about the subject matter, but more about the light and shadow that falls upon the subject.

When viewing through this artful prism, Mayne feels an intensity that builds from her exploration of the subject before her. “It’s more than looking at just one thing. I get the holistic picture of creation, and the result is my interpretation of it.”

Examples of her detailed, vibrant still lifes and landscapes will be included in her solo exhibition, “Celebration of Spring,” at the Encinitas Library from Feb. 10 through March 15. An afternoon reception is scheduled from 1-3 p.m. March 7.

The mastery of Mayne’s painterly technique was born from a devotion to her craft that has been honed over 50 years. A native San Diegan now living in Leucadia, Mayne at one point was enrolled in an art degree course at San Diego State University. It was at a time when abstract painting was au courant and fine-art students were expected to follow suit. “But it was not what I wanted to do,” said Mayne, “so I quit.”

Still, the draw to create works in oils was a powerful one. So instead of formal schooling, Mayne sought out the masters of the craft and was mentored by several notable fine artists, including Daniel J. Keyes, Dreama Tolle Perry, Sebastian Capella, Andrea Gaye, and Jeremy Lipking.

The result is a fine-tuned body of work that depicts colorful landscapes reminiscent of the Impressionists’ work, and floral still lifes that capture the delicate colors, shapes and textures of flowers.

“A flower is unique, like a person,” said Mayne. “Every person is different, every flower is different, so the results are always varied and exciting.”

Mayne is a world traveler with her husband of 47 years, Chris, an award-winning photographer who has photographed thousands of birds over many decades.

Attracted to exploring the exotic, the Maynes have journeyed to Europe, Thailand, Bali, India, and locations across the U.S.: Chris Mayne with his lens and Carole Mayne with her easel, painting in plein air.

After a trip to England, Mayne “fell in love with the stained-glass windows,” she said. “When I came home, I had to learn how to do it immediately. My passion for glass is almost right up there with painting.”

The couple are longtime members of the Self Realization Fellowship in Encinitas, and Mayne’s stained glass windows adorn the fellowship rooms. Chris, a general contractor, has also undertaken work for the Fellowship, most recently serving as contractor for its books and gifts store.

Over the decades, Mayne has been commissioned to create art for restaurants, churches and private homes. She paints large-scale custom murals and fine detailed works on linen and canvas. Examples of her art are found locally in the Craftsman Revival Store, Solana Beach, the Lotus Café, Encinitas, and much farther afield at the Chrysalis Gallery, Southampton, N.Y.

She also is eager to pass on her oil-painting skills and heads workshops for budding artists. For distance learning, she has created an instructional book, “What Color Is the Light” that explains color theory, oil painting techniques, the use of pigments, organizing the palette, and more.

Meet Carole Mayne for her afternoon reception at 1 p.m. March 7 at the Encinitas Library. No RSVP is required. Visit to see her work.