Caroline Hamill (née Guo WeiJie) is an award-winning painter and native of Beijing, China. She was self-taught in painting while earning her degree in mechanical engineering. After a few years working in China, she ended up in Atlanta (by way of Budapest, Hungary).
Caroline enjoyed a successful engineering career as well as becoming an entrepreneur, never giving up her paintbrush, occasionally entering a painting in a local competition. One painting that won an award was of the grounds of the Saint Augustine lighthouse, based on a vacation visit made 20 years ago. She also developed a talent for designing and making leather handbags.
/In late 2019, Caroline and her husband fell in love again with the local area, and decided to move here, allowing her to devote more time to painting. Her passion for the local wildlife and photography was sparked when she photographically “adopted” a pair of nesting bald eagles and their two eaglets, as well as the alligators that pay nearly daily visits to the pond behind her back yard. She still paints the wildlife and has been inspired to create woodblock prints of the fascinating birds found here. She uses traditional Asian (Chinese/Japanese) woodblock making method-Carving the wood and hand printing each print on the rice paper with the inks by several layers to make the complete each print.
Caroline’s photography brings an appreciative sensitivity of the natural wonder in the area, whether it is of an endangered plover nesting on the beach, a sunset across the intracoastal waterway, a black skimmer at the moment of catching its prize, or George the alligator sunning himself after patrolling the pond.
In addition to the arts, she loves to travel the world, drawing inspiration from wherever she visits from off-the-beaten-path rural towns of Florida to the opera in Venice, or braving a sandstorm while digging up Devonian-era fossils in the Sahara. Caroline has stated that “it is wonderful, if you take a moment to notice, how close nature is to all of us in Saint Augustine, and how each creature has its own habits and personality”.
On the first Friday of every month, galleries open their doors from 5-9pm, offering new art exhibits and lively receptions to the public.