As you have noticed, I’m not posting very often on this blog anymore.  My schedule and my focus have shifted.  I’m spending more time traveling, teaching and painting in the studio.

Dip Pens in a Goya Tin

Dip Pens in a Goya Tin

Please remember that most of my blog posting will be done on my website blog rather than here or on my Third Time Around Blog.  Please subscribe to the website blog and/or the monthly newsletter if you want to continue to follow my adventures and musings.  Link to Website Blog …… Thanks!

Image: Dip Pens in Goya Tin, drawn first in ink with fountain pen, followed by watercolor washes, Color Scheme- Analogous with Split Complements.

A new way to explore when traveling…. or even at home…. Nine Squared Walk’n’Draw!

The results of the Walk'N'Draw

The results of the Walk’N’Draw

It was time for me to make up a new game to play.  I’m now working on Design and Temperature.  In Susan Abbott’s workshop earlier this year, she emphasized the order of priorities when painting….. First comes Shapes, then Values, then Temperature and lastly, Color.  With that in mind, I used the concept of my video “Twenty Steps” to create the new game I’ve titled Nine Squared.

Basic Materials to walk with

Basic Materials to walk with

Before the walk, I drew a grid of nine rectangles on nine sheets of watercolor paper.  All I needed to bring with me were the sheets of paper, a mechanical pencil, a waterbrush, a mini Altoid tin with warm and cool pigment (I only needed two pans, not all three that are shown above) and my leather folder that I use as an easy-to-hold drawing surface that doubles as a folder to carry the paper.

Pencil sketch not shown

Pencil sketch not shown

I begin the walk, taking Nine times Nine steps in any direction (Eighty one steps).  I stop, choose a composition, snap a photo and start my timer for nine minutes.  In those nine minutes I determine my shapes and repeat them in two more rectangles.  I leave one as the pencil drawing, paint the second as a value sketch in browns and the third as a temperature sketch in warm and cool pigment.

Like any of my games, I allow myself to break the rules on a regular basis.  I do not stop in the middle of a busy street just because I’ve reach step number eighty-one.  If there is a nice place to sit in the shade and I reach it at step seventy-three, I stop and sit down.  If I need twelve more steps to get to a nice shady spot, I take those extra steps.  The rules are simply a guide to force me to be more observant of every spot I pass through and to determine warms and cools to create stronger design.

Images:  small en plein air watercolor sketches in Mountain View, California

On September 26th and 27th I’ll be teaching another Color Scheme Game/Color Value Workshops at RileyStreet Art Supply in Santa Rosa.  On September 28th and 29th I’ll teach Watercolor Techniques at the art story.  Online registration is open on my website: ChrisCarterArt.com.

Orbs No. 20 - Watercolor - 12" x 18"

Orbs No. 20 – Watercolor – 12″ x 18″

I’m looking forward to spending time with new students and traveling a bit with former students who will be sharing some of their favorite en plein air painting spots with me.  I’ll do my best to post a few of our color adventures while I’m away.

Image:  Orbs No. 20 , watercolor, 12″ x 18″, created using flea market trash as templates applying paint with a mouth atomizer.  Color Scheme: Extended Analogous.

A fabulous solution for framing large watercolors!

Orbs No. 24 – Waxed Watercolor diptych
Two 19″ x 48″ panels

Thanks to my friend Joanie Springer (artforthesoulofit.com), I will have at least a dozen extra large watercolors hanging in the upcoming solo exhibit of Healing Art at Overlook Hospital in November.  Joanie works in gouache.  Her paintings look like oil paintings, especially because she waxes them rather than matting them and framing them under glass.  I am at the point where I want to spend my time and energy painting rather than cutting mats, glass and plexi for the larger works for exhibits.  In addition, I would rather spend my money on traveling than on mat board, glass and plexi.  the solution?  Dorland’s cold wax!  Everyone loves it.  No reflection!  Beautiful finish as well as protection….. and light weight for hanging.  What could be better?  thank you Joanie!

Painting:  Orbs No. 24, diptych, Waxed Abstract Watercolor

Granted, there is only one tiny piece of paper glued onto the watercolor paper, but….. that still makes it a collage.

Orbs No. 22, Watercolor & paper, 22" x 30"

Orbs No. 22, Watercolor and tiny piece of handmade red paper, 22″ x 30″

I’m not a purest when it comes to painting.  When the painting begins to take on a personality, I nurture that personality, mood, story, whatever it might be evolving into, with anything and everything I can to make it the most that it can be.  In this case, the painting needed a tiny rectangle of red paper (1″ x 1.5″).  The final touch was the dark orb next to the piece of red paper.  Before adding those two elements, the depth of the painting was remarkably shallow.  Those two elements, one because of the color contrast and the other because of the value contrast, created the illusion of extreme, infinite space.  It helped to view a black and white version of the painting as it neared completion.  I make a habit of viewing my paintings in black and white to avoid guessing at design problems that might be resolved with only one or two strokes.

I used a combination of brush, splatter, junk templates, mouth atomizer, saran wrap, collage, scrape and comb.

Orbs. No. 22 – Watercolor and paper, 22″ x 30″, to be included in the Healing Arts exhibit at Overlook Hospital in November.

The orb paintings are piling up nicely in the studio.

Orbs No. 21 - 22" x 30" Watercolor

Orbs No. 21 – 22″ x 30″ Watercolor

The series is taking on a diversity that I didn’t expect and I’m pleased with the way it is shaping up.  Orbs No. 21 has less layers than some of the others, yet the illusion of space is still strong.  I wanted the blues and greens to dominate and the tiny bits of red to create powerful dynamics without being overbearing.

I now have plenty of paintings for the Healing Arts Exhibit at the Bouras Gallery in Overlook Hospital that begins at the end of October.  I hope to have twice as many as I need so that I can pick the strongest to hang in the show.

Color Scheme:  Analogous with one complement.

Lately I have been heading straight to the studio to work on my Orb and Energy paintings.  Occasionally, I took a break and sketched a few culinary herbs.  This morning, I felt the need to sketch from my bed while sipping coffee and to throw the die for a color scheme.  Being so distracted lately, my dresser has accumulated an odd collection of objects.

Cluttered-dresser-ink-watercolor-sketchbook-drawings-chris-carter-artist-071713-web

Cluttered Dresser (4.25″ x 6.25″)

…. a bottle of lavender lotion to help me sleep at night, a small vial of patchouli oil, eye drops, ear buds, an insect repellent wristband ( works quite well!), a light bulb and a thin tape measure…..

This is where my painting energy has been going lately…..

Crack of Dawn, Orbs No. 9

Crack of Dawn, Orbs No. 9 (21″ x 14″)

And….. not that I need to be involved with another blog! Oh no!…. I’m trying to cut back on my blog time…. But, I can’t resist the invitation from an old and dear friend to put our minds together to create a blog that explores both the working of the brain and the mysteries of the Universe.  I have wanted to tap into the world of artists who love science and this is the first step to finding that community!   Of course…. I will be posting many of my orb paintings on the new blog.  I’ll keep you posted.

Cluttered Dresser: drawn first with ink using a fountain pen, followed by watercolor. Analogous with split complemens color scheme.

Crack of Dawn, Orbs No. 9: Watercolor, layered and layered and layer even more… thrown, splattered, blown, etc.

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