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.

Finally!  The downloadable, PDF Version of The Color Scheme Game is now available on my website!

Color Scheme Game Kit

Color Scheme Game Kit

Die and grayscale are not included.  Print on cardstock (available at office supply stores) and laminate with clear contact paper.  Color scheme templates and custom color wheel templates make learning about color, color schemes and mixing colors with a limited palette a breeze!

Visit my Website Store for details.  Website: ChrisCarterArt.com

Directions for playing both The Color Scheme Game and the Extended Color Scheme Game are included.

Contact me if you have any problems.

In the early 70’s I rented an apartment near Cleveland Circle in Boston.

Sliced-Apples-Artist-Trading-Cards-ink-Watercolor-chris-carter-artist-030613-sz-web

The kitchen was narrow with high ceilings. A large window allowed the morning sunlight to pour past the potted herbs onto the glass doors of the cupboards, the counters and the floor.  The night I painted the walls bright orange and the cupboards fire engine red, I dropped into bed with a migraine.  I thought it was from the colors I’d chosen in too small a room.  Most likely, it was from the fumes.

Next morning, I awoke to the most cheerful kitchen I’d ever experienced.  The following year, I moved to a studio/loft space where I repeated the red and orange interior decor wherever possible … the bathroom I constructed and the one wall that wasn’t brick.  The memories of those days flooded back to me while painting this morning’s drawing, a sketch of Mike’s kitchen in Mountain View last month.  I threw the die and came up with the color scheme Analogous with One Complement.  The dominant color was to be orange/yellow.  As I remembered the effect of the fire engine red paint, my orange/yellow counter top became more of a red/orange.

Artist Trading Card – Morning Sketch: Sliced Apple, drawn in ink with fountain pen, followed (weeks later) with watercolor.

While sipping my morning cup of coffee there is always time to do a quick color study of something simple.

Cotton Swabs

Cotton Swabs – Artist Trading Card

My bathroom provides a multitude of objects to use as shapes for an abstract design with which to play with color.  Cotton Swabs is a study in complementary colors,  a limited palette of Yellow and Violet.  The cotton swabs are the supporting actors in the design performance.  The shapes of the background and shadows are the lead actors.

Morning Sketch playing the Color Scheme Game:  Cotton Swabs – Ink and Watercolor – ACEO – Artist Trading Card

Color Scheme: Complementary

Dominant Color:  Yellow

Rose Madder is the only fragrant pigment I am aware of.  I couldn’t resist adding a bit of it to the Rose Geranium sketch I posted previously.

Three Stages of the Rose Geranium Study

I could have, and probably should have stopped after adding two spots of Rose Madder.  But ….. my mind kept wandering to that place of curiosity that so often gets me into trouble, while at the same time pushes me ahead.  I wanted to see what the Rose Geranium drawing would like like with a background of yellow/orange.

Memories of playful times in the 60’s and early 70’s flooded my thoughts …. skirts made from half a yard of Marimekko fabrics, kitchen walls painted bright orange with window trim in bright pink …. and brightly patterned BBQ shirts.  Now chefs wear pants made from similar fabrics that awaken the senses.

The study went from being focused on shapes and patterns to being focused simply on playful color … not necessarily a bad thing.

Rose Scented Geraniums with Rose Madder and Orange

On Tuesday I created my first six monoprints. They will, most definitely, not be my last.

Monoprint No. 6

With eight of us crammed around the table working from the same piles of black, white, magenta, cyan and yellow piles of ink, it was difficult to be fussy about choosing and mixing colors.  My first five prints taught me a great deal and pleased me only minimally.  I wanted my last one to have a bit of dynamic movement and for that, I needed to have color contrast.  My favorite, foolproof color contrast (also a powerful value contrast duo) is yellow and purple.

For this print I ripped two squares of newsprint paper and two irregular smaller shapes of paper.  I inked all four and placed them on the plexi plate on top of the two ghost images from the previous two prints.  The clarity of the fibers along the torn edges of the squares is incredible!  I would have loved to make one more, using the ghost images of the squares….. but time ran out.

Though neither turquoise nor hot pink have ever been favorite colors of mine, they often find their way into my paintings.  During my twenties and thirties I resented their persistence and worked hard at keeping them from intruding.

Nicole’s Creature, a somewhat recent gift, made specifically for me.

I no longer resist.  The two colors, especially together, bring life, energy and joy into my paintings and I welcome them.

As I look back through the daily drawings of the past six months since I’ve returned to painting full-time, I see more inclinations from my youth having worked their way back into my art.  I’m grateful that those early seeds of inspiration and expression did not give up on me.  Instead, they waited patiently in a state of dormancy until I was ready to acknowledge and nurture their potential value.

Sketchbook drawing: drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Black Ink, followed by watercolor.  Rives BFK paper.