Boston 1939. World War II was in progress. The joy for the Wells family however, was unspeakable, as on Christmas Day, December 25, their baby was born. And thing time Carolina’s crying brought tears of joy to their own faces. From an early age, she had a special inclination for art and painting. She liked drawing landscapes and would spend hours over the paper, capturing in a unique way everything that enchanted her. For a painter, travel is a source of inspiration and creation. The view of Mykonos from the boat that brought her to the port in 1962, was in itself a separate painting that enchanted 23-year old Carolina with her first “good morning” on the island of winds. And as her later history proved, Mykonos was not an island where she would just spend her holidays and return to Greece. It was something very different. Something karmic…
Objectively, she was not one of those stunning American women of the time that you fell under the spell of their beauty. But she had a different kind of charm that fascinated the locals. Something different that you did not easily encounter. That summer of 1962, Carolina will receive the baptism of fire in Mykonos. Although she was returning to America, she already had in mind a relevant schedule for her return. The next year, she goes to Mykonos again, determined to stay. She rents a house in Chora and starts painting landscapes, but also fishermen in the port. “Her house was in the center of Chora, just before Lakka, near Saint Efthymios. When Carolina came to Mykonos in 1962, I was seven years old. The next year, I remember going to Chora, sitting in a chair and painting me for a few pennies. I wish I had taken those portraits then”, says Dimitris Koutsoukos from Mykonos to the Mykonos Post. The landscapes of Mykonos and the fishermen star in the paintings of Carolina, which over the years are snapped up. “She went to tavernas, sat for hours with the fishermen and drank wine. She also hung out with Vgenoula who was famous for her textiles. “Vgenoula, after all, was one of the few people on the island at that time who spoke English, so she helped Carolina a lot with the communication part in the beginning”, adds Dimitris Koutsoukos.
Two loves, two children
Naturally, love was a source of inspiration for Carolina Wells. And in this case, the painter during her long stay on the island, fell in love with two men from Mykonos with whom she had two children, one from each. Her first child is Nitsa and the second is Theodoris. Both of her children were born in America. This was Carolina’s personal wish so they could get the American citizenship. In fact, she stayed in America for a few years, so the children could grow up there. Now, she no longer rents the house in Lakka and bought one of her own in the area Fournakia, which she has given to her son Theodoris, who lives on the island during the summers. “Both children studied in America. Nitsa works in the Real Estate sector and lives in New York, while Theodoris returned and works in Mykonos. He has his own large boat that transports tourists. In the winter he lives in Athens. In fact, he is married and has a baby girl, Carolina”, Dimitris Koutsoukos describes to the Mykonos Post.
Her life today
Carolina Wells, now a happy grandmother, has returned permanently to America in recent years. Due to the coronavirus, it has been about two years since the now 83-year old painter has visited her island. “In September 2019, Caroline came to Mykonos, where she stayed for a month. The reason for her visit was an event held in her honor by the Municipality of Mykonos. In fact, the mayor Konstantinos Koukas awarded her an honorary plaque for her contribution as an artist to the island”, says Dimitris Koutsoukos and clarifies that “Carolina loved Mykonos and its people. And that relationship goes both ways”.