Carol painting in her studio

Carol in her Studio

Carol Santora with equine mural paintings

Carol with Mural Paintings

Carol and Ruby

Carol with her quarter horse mare Ruby

Artist Statement

All my life I have felt a special connection to animals, and I express that connection, those feelings, in paint. In over 30 years of painting, no subject has spoken to me to compare in any measure with my attachment to animals. My paintings are a window into their spirits and souls-their energy, movement and physical presence. Emotion, my love for animals, is predominant in my work.

As an artist, I seek to convey those intense emotions more than techniques or representations of physical reality. Since the early 1900’s, art works that express emotion more than adherence to traditional formal concerns have been labeled as Expressionism. I am a contemporary expressionist.

I started painting, as most do, in a very traditional style and experimented with a variety of media. The transformation in my work began while painting in pastel with abstract backgrounds and a unique and vivid sense of color in the animal. I realized the depths of emotion I could express by manipulating physical reality.

Several years ago through a chance opportunity, I started to work with horses,¬†fell in love with them and eventually acquired two mares of my own. My paintings are now a celebration of the horse. I work in acrylics on large, textured canvases. I pour, spray and splatter paint, manipulating it with a painting knife and tipping the surface. Spontaneous splashes, drips of paint and gestural marks allow the horse’s form to take shape.

I use pure colors, neutral colors and the white of the exposed canvas to create mood and contrasting areas. In my most recent series, color has been reduced to black, white and the shades of gray that spontaneously occur as the wet paint drains and puddles in the textural surface. Sometimes I crop the horse and at other times they are portrayed in their entirety; sometimes a single horse; sometimes a group.

Always, however, I strive to share with the viewer my passion. I give the viewer images that can generate thoughts and emotions, images that may share new perspectives or resonate with their own experiences to create lasting impressions.


“Carol Santora is attracted to the pure spirit of animals… no other subject has ever called to her in the same way that animals do,” writes Bridget Burns of Seacoast Media Group.

An internationally-collected, award-winning artist, Santora (BFA, summa cum laude, Framingham State University) has over 30 years of experience. She has taught from her studio and at museum and art gallery schools, and is a requested judge/juror and demonstrator for various art groups and non-art audiences.

Her work has been shown in museums and galleries across the country and in France, and is currently part of a traveling museum show ‘Environmental Impact’ curated by David J Wagner, LLC, 2013 – 2016. Several of her cow paintings have been selected over the years to represent the Texas Dispute Resolution System’s Office of Dispute Resolution in Lubbock, TX.

Santora’s work can be found in several corporate and numerous private collections around the world including a commission for 2 large equestrian murals for the renovation of the historic Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, CA.

She was awarded associate status in the Society of Animal Artists (SAA) in 2016, and signature status in the Pastel Society of America, (PSA), 2009.

Santora is currently represented by The Wright Gallery, Cape Porpoise, ME, True Grit Gallery, Middleborough, MA and several fine shops in ME and NH. She maintains Santora Fine Art at her Lyman ME residence where she lives with her husband David, their registered quarter horse mares Ruby and Mimi, and their two adopted canine rescues, Dixie and Biscuit.