Carolyn in her Hunters Point Shipyard studio, 1998
Carolyn enjoying one of her many
Hunters Point Open Studios (1998).

About Carolyn

Carolyn Ellingson was a San Francisco artist known for strong abstract images and clean, decisive and exciting color. Carolyn was born in Chicago and moved with her family as a child to Minneapolis where she eventually earned advanced degrees from The University of Minnesota. She moved to California in 1983 and maintained a studio at Hunter's Point Shipyard. She focused on creating non-representational oil and acrylic paintings, monotypes, pastels and watercolors. Carolyn died of mesothelioma on April 26, 2002; her obituary can be read here. Carolyn's artist bio (as she wrote it) can be read here.

Carolyn's June 1997 interview in Feminista!

Carolyn was interviewed by the now-defunct webzine, "Feminista!" in 1997, and spoke about how she became an artist in spite of all the challenges she faced coming from being a stay-at-home mother of the '60s. The article was published with numerous images of Carolyn's art and was titled, "Pick up the brush, the chalk, the clay".

Carolyn had this to say about the interview: "I never considered myself a feminist per se, but perhaps I am after all-- read this interview and decide for yourself. I believe every woman has at least a few feminist stories in her life repertoire. The interview conducted by Leigh Anne Jones reveals what I feel it's like to be an artist here in San Francisco, and what I thinks it takes for anyone to be an artist."

The Feminista! website is down, but the interview can be found here. It is several pages long, but if you're interested in Carolyn's art or personal background, it's not to be missed.

Special Art Collections


A special exhibition in memory of Bill Bateman who died February 20, 1997 at age 49 after being hit by a car in Oakland, California, USA. The special exhibit uses captions from "Crash," the book by J. G. Ballard. Ballard wrote "Crash" in 1973 and it was recently made into a movie directed by David Cronenberg who also did Scanners, The Fly, and Naked Lunch. The movie is a study in the modern search for intensity, eschews morality and breaks the boundaries of "normal." Ballard forsees our coming "autogeddon."

World Trade Center Art Project

Carolyn created a series of watercolors in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City.

The World's Women Online

In 1995 this image of Formalities, I was accepted for an international electronic art networking project, The World's Women Online. It was also projected as part of an installation piece created by Artist Muriel Magenta from Arizona State University which wove the Internet images with video sequences at the 1995 UN conference in Beijing.

The following is a short list of selected collectors:

  • Bill and Bonnie Kehret, Oakland, California
  • Macy's, San Francisco, California
  • Bar Association of San Francisco, California
  • Jerry Kram, Oakland, California
  • Malcolm Gissen & Judith Cohen, San Francisco, California
  • Nektar (formerly Inhale Therapeutic Systems), Palo Alto, California
  • Genentech, San Francisco, California
  • Kaiser Permanente of Northern California
  • Danielle Steele, San Francisco, California
  • Visa USA (sole calendar artist in 1993)
  • Elaine Bild & Patrick Thorson, Seattle, Washington
  • Don Ploof and Kera Alexander, Half Moon Bay, California
  • Rinna B. Flohr and Gunther Just, Berkeley, California