At the time I received Carla’s first message, her husband, Jim, an Army officer and avid cigar smoker, was deployed in Iraq. Carla did some paintings for him to remind him of home while he was dong his tour of duty and wanted to share these quaint, impressionist-like pieces with Cigar Advisor. Here’s how she described where she got her inspiration:
My husband loves cigars! I think he smokes one everyday. It is an escape for him, especially during this deployment. Prior to his leaving, I noticed when he would smoke a cigar I was amazed how his type-A personality instantly mellowed. Being an artist, I took pictures of him, then painted him. I was inspired!
Something possessed me to write you. I guess it’s seeing my husband’s humidors and missing the smell of his cigar. I wanted to share. Enjoy!!!
(Army spouse, Mother and Artist)
Carla grew up in Western North Carolina and attended Brevard College in Brevard, N.C. where she majored in Art. She later transferred to the University of North Carolina (UNC-A) in Asheville, N.C. where she received a Bachelor’s of Art degree in Art. She has been painting for over 20 years.
“I usually paint cat and dog portraits, but I was inspired to paint my husband while smoking a cigar. Not only does it change his personality while he’s smoking, but there’s something sensual about it,” says Carla.
Carla works in watercolor on watercolor paper, and also makes the frames. Some of her materials come from a local cigar shop including whatever cigar bands her husband accumulates. The bands are glued to the frames, then sealed with varnish in decoupage style. Most of the paintings are small, ranging in size from 4″ x 6″ to 8″ x 10″.
Carla met Jim at UNC-A, who is a Command Sergeant Major in the Army. They have been married for 14 years, and I’m happy to report that Jim is now safe, back at home in Maryland with Carla with their two sons.
During the past few weeks, Carla sent me additional samples, so I created a special gallery for her. To see more of Carla Allen’s cigar art, click here. [CA]