Born and raised in rural Minnesota, Carye VanDerPol Mahoney graduated from MACCRAY High School in 1995. She went on to Minnesota State University, Moorhead, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts for Illustration in 2000. After graduation she worked as a graphic designer for a year and then as a freelance artist and illustrator. Over the years, she’s lived in Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Ontario. She’s traveled extensively, visiting many places in Canada, The United States, and Europe, coming home inspired by the art, history, nature, and culture she experiences on her journeys. Her daughter was born in 2010 and that has opened up new worlds of imagination and inspiration. She currently lives in Ridgetown, Ontario with her husband and daughter.
Her original art, greeting cards, bookmarks, and reproductions can be found in shops and galleries located in many of the places that she’s lived over the years, as well as online in her Etsy shop. She participates in art shows and sales throughout the year. She also does commissioned portraits, illustration and graphic design work in a wide range of media.
Her art is realistic and illustrative in style with a touch of the fantastical. Her subject matter includes animals, people, and nature. She primarily uses a mixture of colored pencil, watercolor and ink to create images that are softly textured, while at the same time highly detailed and intensely vibrant. The ink washes add extra depth and an element of mystery. She also occasionally paints in acrylics. She gets inspiration from her daughter and her family, her obsessive reading habit, self-exploration, the farm where she grew up, her love of animals, the cycles of nature, and her travels.