By Albert H. Fulcher | Contributing Editor
As a native San Diegan, artist Carol Lindemulder spent her life surrounded by a spectacular wonder of nature and its beauty. Growing up, she traveled around the San Diego County region with her parents — starting back when Mission Valley was filled with horses and cattle.
She still remembers her parents taking her on a customary Sunday afternoon drive to Escondido. Looking down at its highest peak, she wished that she was a pioneer back in time so she could be the first person to look down at the beautiful valley below. Her love of the land and her love of art eventually led her to painting professionally.
Lindemulder started drawing at a young age after she received a set of crayons and has not stopped since. After working as a caregiver for much of her life, Lindemulder began painting professionally in her 50s. She received a bachelor of arts in design from the University of California, Berkeley, and did graduate work in fine arts at San Diego State University. Then she traveled all over California and the southwest, capturing imagery of nature and man through painting.
Now in her 80s, she still only wants to do one thing: Keep on painting for the rest of her life.
The former Mission Hills resident had to start from scratch after she lost everything in a house fire of her Uptown residence. She moved to Fallbrook, not knowing anyone, but heard that it was a thriving artist community. In 2007, the Rice Fire destroyed everything again and left her with a pile of bricks, three changes of clothes and her dog — leading her to start all over again in Borrego Springs. It took her nearly four years before she could rebuild her studio to a point to where she could start painting on a regular basis.
Lindemulder’s work is now on display at the San Diego History Center, with some pieces never seen by the public. “Carol Lindemulder: Color Story” is on loan to the History Center until May 5, donated by her patrons, spanning decades of her art and travels from 1996-2018.
Whether capturing a particular spot of striking nature or a glimpse of urban and rural areas, it is the complete scenery of her pieces that takes the viewer on her many journeys in life.
Bold and contrasting colors are her signature in all of her pieces and invoke the eyes to the magnificence of the world seen through her eyes. Although Lindemulder said she had some great mentors throughout in life, she is self-taught and has a style that is distinctly her own. Using layering techniques, her works are time consuming, but her artistic brush work and attention to detail creates stunning imagery. She amasses the visuals through memory, writings and photographs, providing a visual manuscript of her own experiences.
There is a vibrant feeling of place, whether looking at the natural beauty on the land, buildings and towns.
“Carol documents the beauty of the San Diego region through her keen eye and bold use of color. She carries on the tradition of our region’s masters in painting the beauty of the landscape,” said Bill Lawrence, San Diego History Center’s executive director and CEO. “She has faced many challenges, including losing her home, studio and much of her collection in the wildfires that devastated our region. Like the Phoenix, Carol has risen from the ashes and presents a visual feast and view of our region that all need to experience. Carol also is a passionate historic preservationist, and I am proud to say, a good and very talented friend.”
In addition to her art career, Lindemulder has long been involved with historic preservation, and is a founding member of the Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO). She was founding president of the Save the Coaster Committee, and was responsible for the restoration of the Belmont Giant Dipper Roller Coaster in Mission Beach.
— Albert Fulcher can be reached at email@example.com.