About the Artist and Her Work
Raised in upstate New York, Carolee Vitaletti attended the Rochester Institute of Technology, graduating with a Bachelors of Fine Art in Graphic Design. At the start of her career, she put in 14 years as a graphic designer. During time off from graphic design, she began receiving commissions to create murals and custom paintings, both in commercial settings and in private homes. The work ranged from transforming a small basement wine room with a mural depicting a beautiful Tuscan hillside scene, to creating a soothing, tropical ceiling mural for an orthodontist’s office.
But Carolee’s love for putting brush to canvas eventually took precedence following a 2012 Caribbean cruise during which she was inspired by the art she saw as well as the gorgeous tropical colors. Upon returning home, she began to develop a new collection of art with a new style. It was when she had completed five new paintings that Busch Gardens recognized Carolee’s talent and saw that her subject matter was a perfect fit for the park. The rest, as they say is history: Carolee was invited to demonstrate painting and sell her art in the park’s Festhaus area. At the same time, she had the first prints made from those five paintings, and upon admiring her work, a publisher sent her a contract to sign.
“The stars were certainly aligned for all that to happen,” Carolee says, adding, “That first weekend, when I was asked to paint in front of people, was when I first noticed their happy reaction to my artwork.”
In fact, one of her fans turned out to be Jack Hanna, who with his wife, Suzi, visited Carolee’s booth at Busch Gardens in the spring of 2015. Being a devoted supporter of wildlife, she thanked Mr. Hanna for what he does and he reciprocated, saying he had seen a lot of wildlife art but never any like Carolee’s!
She offered him a print as a thank-you for having taken time out of his busy schedule to stop by. “I thought he would pick out a lion or tiger,” she says, “but he chose one of my sea turtle prints.”
Today her canvas and paper prints sell world-wide. Subjects range from the pets and endangered animals that are close to Carolee’s heart, to colorful island scenes and glimpses of Colonial Williamsburg’s famous Historic Area. Fans of her work represent every age from teenagers and millennials to senior citizens.
A Style All Her Own
Carolee describes her style as “a mixture of impressionism and realism.” Her work is infused with passion, warmth and vibrant color, plus the occasional spark of humor. You’ll find wildlife, pet portraits, floral art and landscapes, and everything in between.
“I guess it’s just another career phase,” she says. “I feel blessed to be able to paint, and the subjects are simply things that make me happy.”
Paintings Out and About
Carolee resides in Williamsburg, Virginia, with her husband, two children, and a dog named Teddi. She paints at home in a second-floor studio with corner windows that allow wonderful, morning light to flood the room.
“I made my studio my happy place,” she says, “with my artwork hanging around the room. I can open the window and listen to the birds at 7 am when I start to paint, and I often begin with the colors that are the most exciting to me: Caribbean blue and orange. I have great light, great music, a small Christmas tree all lit up with colorful lights (I love Christmas) and Disney characters placed here and there around the room (I love Walt Disney World). My studio is a place where I can feel at peace; after all, I spend six or seven hours a day there. But then, painting is something I love, something I just have to do!”
You can find her paintings displayed at local restaurants, such as Aromas, near Merchants Square, and at Busch Gardens during the season, where she maintains a gallery in New France Village.
“I love visiting with people,” she says, “and chatting with them about art. It’s gratifying to see the pleasure my paintings bring, particularly to the young people that stop by.”
Represented by World Art Group, Carolee’s paintings are licensed and marketed world-wide as fine art prints and posters.
C&F Enterprises has also licensed certain Carolee Vitaletti paintings for pillows, which are sold through showrooms in New York, Atlanta and Las Vegas.
Wander Through Carolee’s World
You are cordially invited to browse Carolee’s website and enjoy her paintings. And yes, some are for sale—because you might just find one or two you have to call your own.
Life has its challenges. Relax and be happy with artwork from Carolee Vitaletti.