Visual Art

East Lansing, Michigan: Carolyn McPherson’s career in graphic art began auspiciously enough: she won first prize in Mr. Sparky’s November radio show for her crayon sketch of a turkey (four-year-old category). Carolyn’s mother ate the prize, a box of 24 candy bars.

Whether or not that early traumatic experience prompted her to give up representational art is not clear, but she soon emerged as a playwright, culminating in her triumphal fourth-grade production of Bookworms Don’t Have to Bite.

She devoted the next 50 years to English Composition and creative writing. She won first prize in the University of Michigan’s prestigious Hopwood Contest (poetry division); taught at the junior high, senior high, community college, and university level; became Chief Speechwriter for Michigan’s Lieutenant Governor; wrote four slim volumes on adoption as it occurs in several ethnic and religious populations; magazine articles on travel, quilting, and marine biology; and four novels, two of which are now available on

Ten years ago Carolyn’s husband introduced her to Adobe Photoshop. She quickly became obsessed with that powerful software, and used it for photo restoration. She soon realized she could also create two-dimensional art in Photoshop. The process was and is slow: using Photoshop’s palette of digital “brushes,” she painted mouse-stroke by mouse-stroke. One painting might take weeks or even months.

Nowadays, when she finally completes a picture, Carolyn prints it out on archival paper, or takes a CD of her digital result to an art printer, who will print the image on artist’s canvas.