By Niall Gillett - News Editor The Reporter

Carolyn Carr and painting "Meh hand Full"
Carolyn Carr is one of Belize’s most prolific painters, but although many Belizeans have become familiar with her art via her famous “Meh hand Full’” painting, featured on the cover of the 2009 BTL phonebook, a good number have never had a chance to see her original art in person. However on Monday, September 7, she brought out some of her most beautiful works for a special showing at the House of Culture in Belize City.

Carolyn, who says she has been painting since she was a little girl, states that her paintings “speak out what I am trying to say.” She explains that the paintings are not so much for decoration, but are intended to be historic commentary, documenting the past, and sometimes the present.

In her pictorial narrative, “Fight or Flight,” for example, she depicts two brightly coloured Toucans, and an equally beautiful Boa Constrictor. Unfortunately, they are all in the same scene, and the Boa apparently intends to devour the Toucan’s young. Should the birds take flight, leaving the nest? Or should they, as good parents, stay and fight against the severe odds for the sake of their children? Carolyn explained that the painting goes far beyond the snake and the birds. She related that it talks about our society today as well, with so many evils existing in the world with an aim of consuming our children. Do we, as parents fight this serious battle, or do we leave? “Unfortunately,” Carolyn says, “many parents choose to leave.”

And so it goes, from painting to painting, calling out from beyond the oil and canvas are a series of stories, touching the heart and soul of the viewer. The details are intricate, and many. With names like “The Backside,” “Just Arrived,” “Fleshstones,” “Belizean Queen,” and “Shady Lady,” each work of art tells its own story in a gentle, flowing way, with the first glance starting just a trickle of a stream, but soon building to a river of narration. Her paintings speak!

Carolyn Carr's "Fight or Flight"
“Meh Hand Full” is proudly featured, many times larger than expected, and Carolyn is proud to narrate it. She shows that despite first appearances of poverty, and struggle, the family is actually doing well. The pregnant mother and children are round and healthy, and the table is stocked with what will soon be a feast. “Even the cat is fat,” she laughs. 

Carolyn Car was born in Canon City, Colorado, and moved to Banana Bank in 1977. She does not sell her originals, but prints of her work can be bought locally or from her website at Her show will continue until September 25, 2009.