New abstract dot painting: “Straightening”

July 11, 2011 at 10:19 am 4 comments

Presenting my latest piece, 3 feet by 3 feet, “Straightening” (more about the title later):

Straightening, abstract dot painting by Barbara J Carter, 3x3 feet “Straightening” by Barbara J Carter, mixed media on canvas, 36×36″, 2011.

Up until now, the biggest abstract dot painting I’d done was 2 feet square. This is MUCH bigger. The area is more than double. It was a real challenge.

Here’s a closer look at the dots:

detail view, Straightening, original painting by Barbara J Carter

The background of the painting is collaged newsprint, a new medium for me. By introducing something other than paint into this painting, it magically becomes a “mixed media” piece instead of my usual “acrylic on canvas.” (There’s a little art-world lingo for ya.) I personally find “mixed media” annoyingly unspecific as a descriptor, but that’s the accepted usage.

This painting will be on display at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery from July 24 to September 25, 2011 in the Open Call 2011 show. (Along with about 1000 pieces by other artists. Yikes.)

This is a continuation of my abstract dot series of paintings, which includes “Square, Red,” “Yellow Square,” and the recently completed “Multi-Colored Dots.” Besides being much bigger, this new one breaks out of the concentric-square motif for a more linear approach. I’m looking to blur boundaries, such as the distinction between geometric and organic shapes. The lines of dots are straight-ish, but not really straight. Most of the lines, but not all, are continuous. The colors form a pattern that repeats, but the pattern is not strictly adhered to. The vertical columns of newsprint text (also not perfectly straight) provide a subtle vertical counterpoint to the horizontality of the lines of dots.

The title of the piece, “Straightening,” is an homage to the famous “Straightening Spears” paintings by Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula, one of the more famous Pintupi Aboriginal artists from Australia. My composition in this piece owes greatly to his work, so I thought I should honor him with the title.


Entry filed under: Abstract, Acrylic, Painting.

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  • 1. Zachary Brown  |  July 11, 2011 at 3:30 pm


  • 2. barbarajcarter  |  July 11, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Thanks! 🙂

  • 3. Adeaner  |  October 14, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I’m gonna have to call my lawyers, haha.
    Haven’t visited in a long time – really like your new work (and your old work – all of your work).

  • 4. Hello 2012 « Barbara J Carter  |  January 10, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    […] in the Open Show at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery in 2011. I was very proud of this big, ambitious piece and wanted to get it “out there.” "Straightening" painting by Barbara J […]

Barbara J Carter

I'm an artist. I make paintings with dots.

I work in acrylic paint, in a couple of distinct styles: landscapes and abstracts.

Native to California, I've lived elsewhere and only recently returned to my home state. I now live in Los Angeles.

I mostly show my art in outdoor festivals in California. I also occasionally show my work in art galleries or open studio events. You can see an up-to-date list of upcoming shows on my website (click here).

I invite you to sign up to receive my free email newsletter, in which I list my upcoming shows and talk about my latest work. I send it irregularly, a few times a year.

My links

My paintings

Follow me on Twitter: @barbarajcarter

Why I call my landscapes neo-Pointillist landscape paintings

A bunch of my abstract dot paintings

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Click here to receive my free email newsletter for up-to-date info on my shows, my art, and anything else that I'm up to. I send it out irregularly, a few times a year.

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