Carol McLaughlin Biography


Carol McLaughlin Kortnik is primarily a self-taught artist but has had a semester in art appreciation and drawing from Walla, Walla Washington Community College. Carol is a professional artist who creates her works primarily in watercolor, but also pastels, bronze sculptures, fiber arts, and mixed media collages. She began her successful profession as an artist in 1986 along with her husband Mark when they opened one of the first art galleries in the touristy town of Joseph, Oregon. However, Carol's career as an artist started long before that when she became interested in drawing local farm scenes with a wood-burning tool. Carol was greatly influenced by her growing up with a farming family in Steamboat Springs, Colorado before moving in the late 1970s to Northeast Oregon. Now after some 35 years, she and her husband own and operate the Aspen Grove Gallery in Joseph where they exhibit their original art and create new work in their studio spaces.

Carol's subjects that inspire her art range from songbirds, wildflowers, Northwest landscapes, and the 17,000-year-old prehistoric cave art found in the caves in Southern France.  Her bronze sculptures of cave paintings are unique because they turn a two-dimensional prehistoric drawing into a three-dimensional bronze cast sculpture.

Carol’s art has won many first-place and People Choice awards at various art shows in the Northwest including the prestigious Charlie Russell art auction in Great Falls, Montana. Carol was honored to have been chosen to participate in the most celebrated bird art show in the country in 1996 called the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Bird Art Show.  Carol has been written about by  "U.S. Art", “InformArt” and Eastern Oregon magazines.  Carol was featured on the OPB Oregon Art Beat television program in 2012 because of her wide variety of creative skills and mastery of many diverse mediums. 

In 2023 Carol opened her new art gallery building devoted to the latest pieces called "Carol's Creative Cottage". Currently, some of Carol's subjects here, deal with the most fun whimsical, and nostalgic themes in new creations of mixed media collage and repurposed object assemblages. Carol's current work is a series of mixed media collages honoring the most influential women in American history.

Carol invites visitors to their gallery in Joseph, which is today the longest-operating art business on Main Street since 1988. Carol's art can be viewed and purchased at her website -