Friday, June 26, 2009

Feature FOUNDER Friday - Carmen Torbus - GIVEAWAY

I am passionate about creating art that encourages connection, validates emotion and nourishes the soul.”

–Carmen Torbus

This week we at TCWAA decided to turn the tables and interview our alliance founder: Carmen Torbus. Carmen is a young, dynamic new artist who feels that art, “fills my emotional bank. When all the things that aren't enjoyable begin to drain me, working in my studio for a few minutes always makes me feel better.” She recommends that new artists “do what comes naturally, artistically. Try new things. Seek other artists to connect with and toss around ideas and have get-togethers.” It is this philosophy that created the blog that you are currently reading.

Carmen enjoys mixed media art, often working on canvas or wood with acrylics and papers. She also enjoys creating encaustics, also known as hot wax paintings. Selling her first commission was a turning point for Carmen, in that it was, “when it really hit me and I felt confident referring to myself as an artist.”

Carmen loves pouring her heart into her work and is particularly proud of her Reach painting, which she also turned into a locket set by collaborating with Polarity.

Leave a comment and you could
win the locket set seen above!

Carmen is giving away a locket set to one of our lucky readers! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post by Tuesday, June 30th. the winner will be announced on Wednesday, July 1st.


Q: If you could only keep 3 art supplies what would they be?
Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide Paint, Black India Ink and paper

Q: How would you make art if you were stranded on a deserted island?
I would find or make some kind of carving tool to carve inspirational or motivational words into my surroundings... little reminders not to give up hope.

Q: How do you organize your art supplies?
That's a joke right? I have supplies everywhere. I think if my studio was neat and tidy I probably wouldn't be able to find anything.

Q: What comforts you?
Homemade potato soup, acoustic music, painting with my fingers and when all else fails, chocolate cake always works.

Q: Do you listen to music when you create? If so what kind?
I do. I have pretty eclectic taste in music. When I'm in the studio, I have a playlist that has a lot of acoustic, folksy sounding music mixed in with bands like Matchbox 20, Pearl Jam, Maroon 5, and Train; and also some Alanis Morissette, Natasha Beddingfield, Dido, Sara McLachlan, and Feist.

Q: Picasso had a blue period. If you painted in one color family what would it be? Why that color?
Hmm, I've always been drawn to fall colors. Golds, orangey-yellows, browns and deep reds, but lately I've had a thing for blue-greens. I'm not sure what it is about these colors. The fall colors are very comforting and soothing - they draw me in and give me a feeling of safety and security. The blue-greens are a little more bold and I think that is in direct correlation to the person I'm becoming. I'm coming out of my shell a little and letting a little more of my light shine. Stepping out of that autumn tinted comfort zone.

Q: What makes you happy? Sad? How does that appear in your art?
Big puffy clouds make me happy... always. And the stars. Maybe it's just the sky itself that does it. I could stare at the sky for hours. I love taking pictures of the sky and I love to share them on my blog. My blog is an extension of my art - another way for me to express myself creatively. I often express my emotions through my art and through my words and photos on my blog.

Q: What inspires you?
A: Other artists who are following their dreams really inspire me. Connecting with other women and talking about goals and dreams is another great source of inspiration for me.

Q: Favorite Artist?
A: Bridgette Guerzon Mills

Q: Tea or coffee?
A: Coffee - sweet and creamy!

Q: Cats or dogs?
I can't choose. I love them all.

Q: Monet or Warhol?
A: Van Gogh

Q: Trademark art symbol?
If you look closely, you will almost always find a scribbled flower on my paintings.

Q: Paint or Pencils?
Both! Lately I've been combining the two and I'm loving the results. If I had to choose one, it would be paint.

Q: Salty or sweet?
I like them together. Popcorn and M&Ms, Doritos and Hershey's bars, yum!

Q: You’re not in Kansas anymore are you Dorothy, er, I mean Carmen.
Ha! No and I don't plan to click my heels any time soon.

Q: What time of day do you like to create?
Late at night. My best work is done between 11:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m.

Q: What is your favorite adjective?

Q: With a full time job, 2 kids and the TCWAA how do you make time for art?
I don't sleep. Actually, I work on art when I can fit it in. I don't have a specific time. Sometimes I paint with my 7-year-old, she has her own little corner in our home studio. I almost always have my sketch book with me and sketch when I can. Most often though, my best artwork is done late at night when it's quiet in the house.

Q: What’s the weirdest thing you ever painted?
A: Does painting my kids faces before a hockey game count? Let's Go Buffalo!

Q: What’s your guilty pleasure?
Cinnamon Dolce Lattes and Pumpkin Loaf from Starbucks... and art books and magazines of course.

Carmen's work can be seen
on her blog:
Distracted by Design
and her Etsy Shop:
Torbus & Company Studios

We hope to see you all tomorrow
at Carmen's House!!

Our official Kick Off gathering will be on
Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 6:00 P.M.
at Carmen's house in Port St. Lucie
email me for the address:
carmen.tcwaa @!

Don't forget to leave a comment
to enter Carmen's Giveaway!


Article and Interview by Katrina Kniep


  1. It was great to read this article and learn more about you finding that we have a lot in common. Matchbox 20 is on the top of my list for music and the comment about organizing your art supplies - LOL - totally dead on. And I am blessed to personally know Bridgette and love her and her work. You go girl!

  2. I'm stalking your giveaways! Seriously though, I enjoyed the article and love reading anything by you/aboout you Carmen! You're so inspiring! I hope you have a great time and enjoy your new adventure tomorrow!

  3. Keep up the great work Carmen!

  4. I love your work Carmen and I wish I had the drive/motivation to stay creative like you!!

  5. Love your work Carmen, and it has been very inspring to watch you come into your own!

  6. I love all your stuff sissy!!! I want it all over my walls!!!! Just come paint a wall for me lol :)

    Love ya, Bernie

  7. Hey Carm - beautiful as always! Just waiting for dd to get home from a sleepover to show her this - every time I read your custom title about having paint on your fingers, I think of her, as that's been her life lately, lol.


  8. This was a great article! I loved learning more about Carmen! She is a great artist!!

  9. I enjoyed reading the profile, Carmen. As an aspiring artist myself (albeit one who's getting a bit of a late start), you and your work inspire me!

    Lynne E.

  10. Great interview, Carmen! I hope you have a creative evening tomorrow filled with good friends, good food and good art supplies! Can't wait to read about the gathering!

  11. Wow, Carmen! Your work is wonderful!

  12. Hi, my mom showed me this today. I love your stuff!

    AB Art Girl

    (Fanny's daughter)

  13. Great interview! Carmen, your work is awesome.:)

  14. Carmen, I found your blog "accidentally" (as if there is such a thing). Reading your interview, I feel like we are kindred spirits! I'm a life/business coach who LOVES doing mixed media, and LOVE incorporating inspirational words of hope and positivityinto my art, which I don't do enough of. I u sed to live in Florida, then the midest, and have always loved the colors of the sea, like it seems you do.

  15. I love your stuff Carmen! My mother talks about the piece I bought for her every time we talk. It reminds her to love herself and find happiness over and over throughout her day. I thank you for that.

    ~~Amanda (aka pendle13)

  16. Hi Carmen! I enjoyed reading your interview and seeing your work. You are extremely talented and I absolutely love the colors you use in your art. I agree that the fall colors are the best - the golds, greens, and reds are such a beautiful combonation. Looking forward to seeing more of your art!

    ~ SouthernJen

  17. Great article! Love the enthusiasm - and hope that comes thru.

  18. Carmen is amazing. Her blogs are so positive and inspirational. I need to get successful quick so I can buy some of her art before the art world realizes how wonderful she is!

  19. I love your work Carmen!! It makes me stop and reflect about life...I thank you for that. June 30th is my 25th anniversary!! I have a lot of reflecting to do!! LOL


  20. I love your work Carmen!


  21. thanks for the amazing insight into who you are! your work is great!

  22. Carmen,

    I can understand the allure of blue-green.

    It represents seemingly opposing emotions.

    On the one hand there is a sense of impending, newly unrestrained energy, and on the other it offers the reminder of the serenity of eternity.

    Probably a close reflection of that within. ;)



  23. Carmen...

    You're amazing! Let that light shine, sweetheart!

    So very proud of you...


  24. fingers & toes crossed!!!!!! woooooot!

    prettyfnmess at gmail

  25. Carmen, I remember how much I loved this canvas when you first shared it, and I still LOVE it! Would love the pendant. But more importantly, it's great that you're reaching out, showing what you've got! It can be very challenging. Rock on! I know it's going to be a success because you've got what it takes.

    I can't believe I hadn't clicked to follow you before now; I love your stuff!

  26. I first saw your work on Polarity. Very happy to be able to read your blog. Your art calls to me. Thanks for sharing it.

  27. Great article. Your work is beautiful. If I don't win that locket, I may be purchasing one. Lovely...I am a therapist and help people reach every day.

  28. So great to learn more about you Carmen! Thanks for sharing!!

  29. You rock! And I had fun tonight- thanks....sure would love to win the giveaway ;-)

  30. Super article! It was lovely coming over to your house yesterday, I had a wonderful time. Gained a pound from all the goodies. :oD

    You and your daughter's work looks great in person, even better than on line.

  31. Love Carmen's work and would be honored to wear it if I was the lucky winner! Hugs from Conroe, TX!

  32. I love seeing Carmen come full circle. Being and Doing exactly what she was meant to do.

  33. you rock right along with your art, dollface. xo wanda

  34. You inspire me to keep reaching! Thank you!

  35. oh phooey, i missed the entry deadline! get interview anyways! wish i was closer to you guys!