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.

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.

Back in the studio opening up all my leftover cans of worms…

"T" - watercolor painting 22" x 30"

“T” – watercolor painting 22″ x 30″

As wonderful as a clean and orderly studio is, it’s terribly intimidating and resistant to what I need to do in its clean and orderly space.  I dragged out six of the 22″ x 30″ watercolors I started prior to moving out of my wonderful, giant studio with natural light that flooding in through huge windows.  I had the first three layers of thrown paint on the six sheets of watercolor paper.

I’ve come a long way since I threw that paint.  My color sense has taken a severe swerve away from where it was.  What I want from a painting now is far more than I have ever wanted before.  I panicked, then started to throw paint.  This time I chose the hue and value carefully.  I varied the marks with brush, scraper and my breath…..  splatter, splat, blow, flick, drop, scrape…. let dry…. flatten….. and then begin the cycle again.  I had no expectations of having a resolved piece of work for at least a couple of days.  The world is often full of surprises!

Watercolor Painting: “T”  – 22″ x 30″ watercolor

The cicada I sketched didn’t last too long after I returned it to the wild.  The next day I found its wings in the driveway.

cicada-wings-ink-watercolor-drawing-chris-carter-artist-060713-webThe cicadae mating song can reach over 100 decibels, the loudest song known in the insect world.  “The adult male cicada possesses two ribbed membranes called tymbals, one on each side of its first abdominal segment. By contracting the tymbal muscle, the cicada buckles the membrane inward, producing a loud click. As the membrane snaps back, it clicks again. The two tymbals click alternately.”

Here is the ink drawing shown in the last post …. now painted using an analogous with one complement color scheme.

17 year cicada

17 year cicada

Finally, after far too long, I am offering online critiques and private lessons….. visit my website for information and sign up.

I hope, within the next month, I will be able to offer The Color Workshop as an online option.

Thanks for your patience.

Images:  Drawn first with ink using a fountain pen, followed by watercolor.

While preparing for the recent watercolor demonstrations I’ve been doing, I cut open the tube of Cadmium Red Deep that I never use.  I don’t use it because I think it is as ugly as Cadmium Red Light is beautiful.  After making the Color Scheme Game color wheel using Cad Red Deep as my primary red, I discovered the potential of beauty within that color I deemed as ugly.

No. 1 - Artist Trading Card - Watercolor

No. 1  – Watercolor – 2.5″ x 3.5″

This limited palette of raw sienna, cadmium red deep and ultramarine blue produces lovely neutrals.  The watercolor demos are over for the next two months, but I continue to use this odd palette.  In fact, I have replaced a dozen of the paintings I originally planned to hang in the upcoming solo exhibit at Connexions Gallery with new paintings created with this palette.  I can’t help but be reminded of the story The Ugly Duckling.

Raw Sienna, Cadmium Red Deep and Ultramarine Blue

Raw Sienna, Cadmium Red Deep and Ultramarine Blue