Posts filed under ‘Landscape’

Hiking in the New Year

I’m not “ringing” in the New Year, I’m “hiking” it in! Getting out and tramping around is how I get inspired to paint.

After abundant winter rains, southern California greened up. This is as green as it gets!

Cheseboro Canyon Cheseboro Canyon after the rains.

Yeah, it’s still pretty brown out there. That’s why I like to spice up the colors a little in my paintings. (Maybe more than “a little.”)

"A Touch of Sun" painting by Barbara J Carter “A Touch of Sun” by Barbara J Carter, acrylic on canvas, 11×14 inches

If you missed seeing my art in 2012, fret not. I’m planning to get out and exhibit more in 2013. Being on my mailing list is the best way to get reminders about my shows. Click here to join, and I’ll see you at my next show!

January 3, 2013 at 11:41 am

New painting: “Hills”

Between Los Angeles and San Francisco lie hundreds of miles of California landscape. Somewhere out there I snapped a photo out the car window. A few years later a painting emerged.

This one’s a bit different from the rest. No trees. No water. No buildings. Just the dry grass-covered hills of California glowing in the sun. The absence of features like trees leaves the painting with a spare, abstract composition. Land and sky, that’s it.

"Hills" painting by Barbara J Carter “Hills” painting by Barbara J Carter, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 18×24 inches.

Purchase information here.

June 26, 2012 at 2:39 pm 4 comments

New painting: Pescadero Beach 11×14″ (worth the wait)

"Pescadero Beach" by Barbara J Carter Pescadero Beach by Barbara J Carter, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 11×14″ (frame 17×20″).

I started this painting last year, but abandoned it halfway through.

What happened was I started working on a very similar scene in a much larger format. The larger painting took over. It was so much more dramatic than the small one. The little one seemed unnecessary, redundant. I set it aside.

In fact, I thought about destroying it. It was just a smaller version of a very successful big painting. It wasn’t going to be anything but a lesser copy. And I hate copying myself.

But I couldn’t bring myself to trash it. So I set it aside. I turned it to face the wall and ignored it. It sat there for months.

Time does a funny thing. What seemed like a “copy” then, now seems like a different take on a similar theme. Enough time has passed for it to become its own painting: a small window onto a similar scene, but with its own unique take.

I hauled it out and finished it this month. I’m extraordinarily pleased with it. Sometimes it just takes a little time to find the right approach.

Purchase information here.

March 29, 2012 at 6:04 am 7 comments

“Wind Wolves Triptych”

This is my latest painting, “Wind Wolves Triptych.”

"Wind Wolves Triptych" painting by Barbara J CarterWind Wolves Triptych” by Barbara J Carter, acrylic on canvas, 40×90″ (3 panels), 2011.

It’s the biggest triptych I’ve painted to date. Seven and a half feet wide!

The painting depicts a set of hills in the Wind Wolves Preserve, a large privately owned conservation area that is open to the public. Located in the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley of California, it’s a beautiful space: an unspoiled wide valley surrounded by rugged hills. The valley floor is carpeted each spring with fabulous wildflowers. It’s a bit of a drive from Los Angeles, but worth a visit. If I remember correctly, it’s open on weekends and admission and parking are free. The facilities include very nice bathrooms and a few picnic benches, and very good trails for ambling all about without crushing the flora. Dog friendly too (we don’t go anywhere we can’t bring our pooch).

My painting is on public display at the Silver Lake Art Collective’s annual exhibit now through November 19, 2011. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, you should go take a look-see. (All the info is in my previous blog post.)

Art pricing/availability information here.

October 25, 2011 at 10:00 am 3 comments

New painting: “Two Trees”

I am scrambling like mad to get several new paintings finished in time to show them at the upcoming art show in Northern California, Kings Mountain Art Fair, Labor Day Weekend. (See all my upcoming shows here.)

This is the latest.

Two Trees, painting by Barbara J Carter “Two Trees” by Barbara J Carter, acrylic on canvas, 40×30 inches.

“Two Trees” depicts an iconic Californian scene, a pair of scraggly oak trees atop a golden-hued hill. I like to emphasize the honey-amber tones of the dry grass that covers so much of California throughout the dry season. For this painting, I also pulled those yellow-gold tones into the sky to make the silhouetted trees just that much more dramatic. Who says the sky always has to be blue?

A few days ago I thought this painting was finished, so I set it aside and turned my attention to another. But something was niggling at me, so I put it back on my easel and worked a little more on it. I shifted the colors in the hill more emphatically to yellow-orange tones, and downplayed the cooler colors like blue and green. (How do I do this? You’ll have to ask me in person!) That really integrated the painting into a unified whole. So now it’s really finished, and ready for the big art show. See you there!

Kings Mountain Art Fair September 3-5, 2011.

August 24, 2011 at 12:31 pm 2 comments

New Painting: “Satwiwa 2”

Satwiwa 2, by Barbara J Carter, 24x36", acrylic on canvas

The complex undulations of the hills and meadows at Satwiwa caught my eye. (I’ve blogged about Satwiwa before, here.) It seemed the intriguing shape of the land was just begging to be captured in a painting. So I did, and this painting, Satwiwa 2, is the result.

I was so pleased with this painting that I chose it for my second postcard mailing of the year. This is the first year I’m sending out multiple postcards. Previously my habit was at most a single postcard mailing in any given year. But that’s just not enough. So this is The Year of Many Postcards! (Well, 3 or 4 anyway.)

You can receive my postcards too! Just sign up for my mailing list here.

Oh, and of course the painting itself is available for sale. Click here for that information.

April 8, 2010 at 6:30 am

New Painting: “Cheseboro,” or is it Chesebro, or maybe Cheeseboro?

There seems to be some variation in the way the name is spelled, but in any case it’s a mighty fine place to take a hike. And maybe even snap a photo that you eventually turn into a painting.

Or anyway, that’s what I did.

"Cheseboro" by Barbara J Carter, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 14x11"

When I say I “eventually” turned the photo into a painting, I do mean eventually. Like a lot later. I hiked this canyon in December of 2008, snapping several photos as I usually do. I stored them on my computer. After a while I printed some out, and started a painting. That was sometime in 2009.

About 3/4 of the way through the painting, I got stuck. So I did what I always do when I’m stymied by a painting. I propped it up in a corner of my studio and left it alone. For a long time.

It turned into a verrrry long time.

Finally, about a month ago, I decided it was time to finish it. And it wasn’t that hard, either. It just came to me, and I put on the finishing touches with surprising ease. Sometimes I need to let things stew in the back of my mind for a while before I can finish them. I think this one’s the winner for longest “stewing” time. But that’s OK with me. I’m happy with how it came out, however long it took.

This painting is for sale. Click here for purchasing information.

April 1, 2010 at 9:04 am

New Painting: “NM Museum of Art”

My dream trip to Santa Fe last fall yielded a whole new direction for my art: I started painting buildings. You can see the other paintings I’ve completed so far of Santa Fe buildings here and here.

This painting depicts the New Mexico Museum of Art, located right in Santa Fe. The museum is housed in a graceful and traditional New Mexico adobe-style building. I took lots of photos both of the exterior and the courtyards. We had a little spot of luck that day: some genuine sunlight. Most of the trip had been cloudy, but that day we had some sun. Everything looks better in the sunlight!

"NM Museum of Art" by Barbara J Carter, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 14x11"

This view is from the museum’s main courtyard, looking up at the museum’s second story. I loved the play of shadows and sunlight across the walls. The pink glow of the adobe in the sun contrasting with the deep shadows of the heavy wooden beams really struck my fancy.

This painting is for sale. You can find purchasing information here.

If you go to Santa Fe, I highly recommend visiting the New Mexico Museum of Art. It’s not too overwhelmingly huge like some museums can be. You can ramble around and enjoy the beautiful building, the grounds, and the art on display at a leisurely pace.

March 29, 2010 at 9:30 am 2 comments

Santa Fe Painting: Christo Rey

Last fall I visited Santa Fe, New Mexico, and totally fell in love.

Looking about with an artist’s eye, always on the search for something new to paint, I snapped lots of photos to refer back to later.

The natural scenery with its bizarre-shaped buttes and crazy-colored cliffs was amazing, but what really stuck my fancy was the adobe buildings. The graphic shapes made by the sun and shadows on the smoothly rounded forms fascinated me. These buildings are like no other kind of architecture: earthy and warm. Organic.

One afternoon we drove past this church, and I just had to stop and snap some photos. I love the solid, grounded shape of its asymmetrical towers.

Christo Rey by Barbara J Carter, 11×14″, acrylic on canvas

I’m working on a series of paintings of adobe buildings from Santa Fe, and this is the first. I don’t really know anything about the church, I just liked how it looked. The sky that day was gloomy and foreboding, but the tiniest little hint of light was picking out the curved edges of the building like a tiny glimmer of hope amidst the gloom.

Here it is in a frame:

Like all my paintings on canvas, it’s wired and ready to hang, with or without a frame. The sides are painted a solid red color and the canvas staples are out of sight on the back, so a frame is strictly optional. Click here for purchasing information.

February 25, 2010 at 9:08 pm 7 comments

Some Good Press

It’s always exciting to see your name in print. This one’s by far the nicest blurb I’ve ever had in a newspaper. And I didn’t even have to write it! Thanks to the Ventura County Star.

VenturaStar2009 (from the Ventura County Star’s arts supplement “timeOut” for July 10-17, 2009)

It’s a nice distillation of information about me and my art, quoted off my website. (You can read it if you click on the picture above and then zoom in.) It gives the information for the exhibit I’m in at the Red Brick Gallery (in Ventura, which explains the Ventura newspaper’s interest).

Apparently the gallery sent the newspaper several images from all the artists in the exhibit, and the paper chose to print one of mine. And write up a story with it. They didn’t have to pick me, but they did, and did a very nice job of it too. I’m chuffed!

The story references my exhibit at the Red Brick Gallery in Ventura, California. The show went up this Monday and will stay up through August 16, 2009. If you’re in town on Saturday, July 25, be sure to stop by the gallery between 6pm and 9pm for the artists’ reception. I will be there! And so will that painting in the newspaper article (the painting looks much better in person than in newsprint!).

Thanks to the Ventura County Star for the lovely writeup. You guys rock.

July 15, 2009 at 5:04 pm 5 comments

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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.

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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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