If you look closely at the canvas clutches Carrie Pittman painted by hand for the competitors of the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open Championship, you can see the message she incorporated into each one. Not a message in the sense of words and sentences, but of individuality conveyed in the layers of metallic and neutral-toned paint clinging to the clutches’ cloth surfaces.

“I took a lot of time with each one for each person, and that’s very important to me as an artist,” Carrie says. “That’s part of my creation and the significance of it. No two are alike.”

As a newer member of the art-as-a-full-time-career club, Carrie was thrilled to be selected to create something for the women competing in the prestigious golf tournament, which is being held at Shoal Creek May 31-June 3. Her clutches were to be included in the gift packages for each golfer.

Using a paintbrush, Carrie painted a neutral watercolor-style background on each of the clutches. Then, she layered them with gold, silver and bronze metallic paint. Even though she used the same color palette for all 160 clutches, each one emerged with a distinctive look, a slightly different configuration of color constellations with shiny flecks that move in the sunlight.

“All my work is very layered in color and texture,” Carrie says. “I wanted to make each bag like a canvas for each golfer.”

The clutches fit into what Carrie, who lives in Homewood, was already doing in her art business. She recently launched Carrie Pittman Collection, which consists of these and other “affordable and wearable art” pieces like tote bags, pillows and curtains.

But three years ago, painting was only a hobby for Carrie. She was a financial advisor for 10 years, following in the footsteps of two generations in her family’s business. “I tried, but I was miserable. I couldn’t give up artwork and painting. I left the company and went out on my own as an artist.”

Original paintings on canvas were Carrie’s initial focus. Now, her fabric pieces – and commissions like the Carrie Pittman clutches for the U.S. Women’s Open golfers – are what reinforce the decision she made three years ago to devote her full attention and energy to artwork.

With the trunk of her SUV full of clutches bound for Shoal Creek on May 1, Carrie was excited to deliver her personal messages to the site where a group of women as unique as the paint patterns on the clutches would gather to compete for one of the most coveted titles in women’s professional golf.

“In a world where everyone compares themselves all the time, I just think it’s important for all of us to remember we’re all unique and set apart,” she says. “If these bags could symbolize that, that would make me happy. It’s so rewarding that you can create beauty for someone else.”

Visit Carriepittman.com or follow Carrie Pittman Art on Facebook and Instagram to see what else this lively artist is up to in her studio. For more details about the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open Championship, go to Usga.org.