Carol Skylark, the artist who sees beyond

An "Aura Portrait" by Carol Skylark depicts the internal and external energies of the subject. An attending "Spirit Guide" can be seen on the upper right.
Carol Skylark in her studio next to her Tamboor.

Carol Skylark has always been a painter. Her first memory of painting is of pre-school when she was 4. She was painting with a little boy named Andy and when he needed to use the potty, the teacher told her to stop and wait for him to return. But Carol simply couldn’t stop. That was when she learned to follow “The Truth” within herself. She still has that painting. Today, she is known for her “Aura Portraits” — a guided meditation in which she “sees” a client’s energy self, extended within and beyond the physical self. This is what she paints, in all its glory and in constant motion, changing with every thought, and integrated visually with the physical self. To Carol the words “AURA Activation PORTRAITURE” is the journey she takes with her guests —  showing, telling and activating their energy awareness into a visible painting. Throughout the process, she guides and converses with her subject, identifying strengths, trouble spots and issues. She offers custom-created visualizations, which gives them a direct experience of the meditational solutions the person uses to feel their transformations, balance their imbalances and empower their strengths. Clients takes home a portrait portraying them in an entirely different way than a mere likeness. It shows the optimized energy and joy they have created during the session, as a ‘you-can-do-it’ reminder.

A painting prodigy, she attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine on scholarship when she was only 16. All the other students were college age. Being an introvert and yet wanting to converse as an artistic equal was a challenge she was able to meet by learning to describe her very personal vision. Her shyness did not hold her back. By having to describe her work to others, she was able to fathom the mystery of her artistic process. Her brush strokes had been her unconscious language and now she was called to give them a conscious voice.

“Painting was always a mystical experience,” she says, “and it was at this age that I began to see with my “mind’s eye.”

Carol skipped her senior year of high school. Her portfolio proved to be strong enough to get her into the Carnagie/Mellon School of Art, a division of the Carnegie/Mellon University in Pittsburg, PA. She says she “learned a lot”, including cross-hatching, which she resisted but found to be her most valuable lesson. Cross-hatching employs the use of lines laid close together or farther apart that can create depth and shading. The lines can point the mind to be aware distance also. The exercises taught her to think three-dimensionally.

It was when she turned 21 that she began doing the aura portraits

After two years at Carnegie, to the disapproval of her parents, who didn’t want her to go, she went to San Francisco on a summer scholarship to the San Fransisco Art Institute. She lived in a “flea bag YMCA” for a couple of weeks and then moved to North Beach, where she shared an apartment with some girls.  At the school she shared a studio with two very tough ‘slop’ painter students and the teacher, who showed up as a funky grumpy California cowboy who was totally inarticulate. The only technique he ever offered was, “Hey why don’t you overlap your edges,” which meant to spill, smear and slop gray, brown and white together on canvas. Despite this environment, she began to produce big, intricate paintings, semi-abstract places that almost looked real but with objects floating in surreal spaces. To her precise and colorful work, her teacher could contribute no suggestions of any value. The teacher and his loyal followers, angered by the fact that she wouldn’t do it their way, perhaps comprehending nothing but the mud and gush of their current style, bullied her right out of the studio.

She found a way to hide out and sneak into an upstairs studio to work at night. Music coming from down the hall eventually led her to discover another artist doing the same thing. They became best friends.

In 1966, she moved to the ocean side of Golden Gate, where there were all kinds of tiny communities. She was able to rent a cabin right on the ocean where she lived and immersed herself into her paintings, working part-time in town as a picture framer. Her “wild-child” lifestyle came to an abrupt end when she accidentally drove her old Studebaker off of a cliff. She was imported back to her childhood home in New York bedecked in a huge body cast but did not stay long. New York City called her. It was here that the Aura Portraits began. She was her own first subject.

It began as a drawing that was an outline around herself. She was inspired to go very slowly and to feel the line as if it were a touch. That’s how she “touched in.”  With her eyed closed she could see — feel — the energy effects as the outline traveled into the deeper regions of herself. Before any of her later trainings in clairvoyant healing technologies, she was watching the energies being activated in her energy centers and acupuncture meridians.

She has continued to practice on herself, seeing and feeling more and more. She discovered that she could work with other people somewhat by accident. She was doing a portrait of a friend but kept painting his hairline too low. Finally, in frustration she pushed the hairline all the way back up with a big brush. Suddenly he jumped off his chair laughing uncontrollably. With this she “brushed through” all of his self-imposed limitations. This moment defined “Aura Portraiture” for her, to be further refined into the “Aura Portrait Journey.”  She understands that the portrait helps a subject to locate, clear and empower regions of energy within themselves. For 30 years, she’s been traveling to Wholistic Fairs and Expos coast to coast to do this work.

She also enjoys working with groups, families and friends on their journeys. She does this with portrait parties and with MUSEical Journey nights. Accompanied by sensitive musicians, Carol receives, performs and facilitates each person’s journey through song. She will be performing at the Fort Collins Public Media stage as part of the “Underground” series this fall and her TV show, “Be Alive, take a journey with Skylark” on local Channel 97, FC Public Media also this fall. She may be contacted at Her website is

Carol will host a FREE lecture and Demo, Dec. 11th at 7:00 pm at the Wild Boar Café at 1510 College Ave. One adventurous person will get a free Aura Portrait.

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