Carol Dalton Artist

Carol Dalton has been making art all her life. She was born in Compton and grew up in Carpenteria near Santa Barbara, where she became an avid surfer as a teen.

After high school, Dalton attended the Santa Barbara Art Institute in 1971, where she met husband Lowell Dalton. They moved to the Bay Area for more urban stimulation, diversity and the art scene. The two have been married for 35 years, have lived in Benicia 31 years and have owned and operated for 26 years.

Dalton paints on wood panel with acrylics and mixed media. She creates textured surfaces by layering paper, matte medium, sand and sweepings from the floor. “I am really loving marking with graphite right now; it’s so much like being a kid and just scribbling.”

Her style reflects desert, garden, ocean, estuary and muted organic themes. Some paintings are inspired by memories such as a quilt made by her great-grandmother.

Dalton also does printmaking and collages. “It helps to center me,” she explains. “I keep all my scraps so when I need inspiration, I dump out my scraps and start pawing through it. Sometimes just the texture on a piece of paper will get me started.”

She works in the frame shop in the morning and paints in her arsenal studio in the afternoon. “I like the pace of Benicia … you can get your sense of peace and calm when you are here.”

Dalton occasionally surfs at Pacifica and Santa Cruz and said she gets her “butt kicked.” She recently purchased a bright pink surfboard and can be seen paddling in the Benicia Bay on her long board. “I dream about being in the water all the time.”

Location: 991 Tyler St., #200