Pashyanti Carole Hand was born in Cement, Oklahoma on June 20, 1940. She grew up in California and Oklahoma, having a parent in each state, and also often lived with grandmothers and aunts. Her parents were good amateur painters.
Her abiding loves have been art, literature and music. Early on she chose to focus mainly on the one discipline of painting. She is also a fine poet.
Beginning at 17, she lived for 2 years in Europe, and her first two sons, Larry and David, were born there. Carole was then in Guadalajara for a year. She arrived in San Francisco in 1960 and lived there for 10 years. For sometime Carole worked at the Jazz Workshop in North Beach at night and attended the Academy of Art during the day. The first series of Jazz musicians happened during this time. Her son, Crisan Geronimo Hand, was born in 1968. This was a powerful, prolific time which included many paintings of her friends. By 1969 she was living in NYC.
Carole continued to return to the Bay Area periodically over the next two decades, staying about a year each time. She etched at UC Berkeley. She lived for a few years in New Orleans, having another very creative, prolific period. She painted her French cottage in the Quarter, the neighborhood, and Crisan and his rabbits.
After New Orleans came a spiritual journey. She hitchhiked with Crisan to Quebec City, Canada, back to Niagara Falls, and across the US to SF. She carried her French easel and did portraits along the way.
The mountains of middle Arizona were Carole’s home for the next 5 years. This area inspired many large enamel abstract paintings.
Then it was back to the Bay Area, this time Oakland. Carole has established here since 1983, with occasional travels, including southern India. Carole etched again at UC, did serigraphs at La Rasa Studios - SF, and lithograph at Kala Art Institute - Berkeley.
She has been painting this series since 1988 and says it is her life’s work.
For the last 12 years I've been doing a series of jazz musicians; painting
the essence of the music, telling about the musicians and the painter's
sourcing from the Goddess. The form of the player has been the departure
point for the journey.
Lately the work has been coming off the canvas by becoming much more
sculptural and with the addition of small paintings as part of the main
United States Jazz comes out of the African home. The symbols of this:
houses, huts, compounds, temples and shrines -- have been showing up a lot
in the work. This home is, first of all, within ourselves.
I've been told that the way I set up to paint is itself a shrine, that
of the paintings are fetishistic and that I am a conjure woman. So be it.
As I continue to discover what I am I own it. I am African-American,
American, Black Irish, English and much more. I am Creole.
I've always lived in the borderlands of race, culture, vision, birth and
death, spirit law and people law, and simultaneous and ongoing
I cherish the eyes of the seers.