Posts filed under ‘Painting’

New abstract dot painting: “Straightening”

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.

July 11, 2011 at 10:19 am 4 comments

New Painting: “Multi-Colored Dots”

Here’s my latest dot painting, “Multi-Colored Dots:”

Multi-Colored Dots - painting by Barbara J Carter, 10x10 inches, acrylic on canvasMulti-Colored Dots” painting by Barbara J Carter, acrylic on canvas, 10×10 inches, framed to 11.5 x 11.5 in.

For this one, I tried something new. The background (the soft swirl of colors behind the dots) I made by pouring thinned paint onto the canvas. I poured several colors and allowed them to merge and blend together, with some encouragement on my part. I was inspired to try this after seeing the amazing (and huge) paintings done this way by a fellow Los Angeles artist named Suzan Woodruff. I was so intrigued I just had to give it a try. It’s messy: all that runny paint runs off the sides of the canvas and gets all over. You don’t have a lot of control over the final result, either, so it’s sort of like controlled chaos. It’s good fun! I’m definitely going to do more. Thanks for the inspiration Suzan!

You can see my other dot paintings on my website.

June 23, 2011 at 6:37 pm

New year, new plans, new art

Having said goodbye to 2010, I’m ready to face 2011.

2011 will be a different kind of year for me and my art. A quieter year, to be spent mostly in my studio (my lovely new studio!).

People ask me how many art festivals I do every year, and I always answer “fewer every year!” This year may just be the bottom. I plan to do only a couple of outdoor shows this year. Even though the outdoor shows are my “bread and butter,” every year I weed out the shows that cost too much, take too high an emotional toll (ask me about the time I nearly got run over), or are too physically exhausting. The number of shows left gets smaller and smaller. This year I’m only applying to a couple favorite shows (and maybe one or two fillers just in case). We’ll see how that goes. After all, applying to a show is no guarantee of acceptance. It might end up being VERY few shows if I get rejected from my favorites! But that’s a chance I’m willing to take.

In the studio I have all sorts of ideas about what I want to paint, but first I have to reorganize the place. It’s a mess. I moved my studio in stages, so although it’s fundamentally functional there are still an awful lot of boxes of art stuff that still need a home. I need to bring order to the chaos. Then I can turn to the good stuff: new art.

I mean for this to be a year of creative growth, artistic exploration, and streamlined systems for my art. I have a bunch of ideas for new paintings that I want to explore. (They may or may not work out, but that’s part of the process.) With the big new studio I should be able to make much bigger paintings, which is something I keep saying I want to do. Will this be the year it finally happens? I’ll keep you posted.

January 10, 2011 at 3:15 pm 4 comments

Silver Lake Open Studio Tour

For the 3rd year in a row, I’m participating in the annual Silver Lake Art Collective’s annual open studio tour. It’s this weekend, so don’t miss it!

November 13-14, 2010
Saturday & Sunday, 12-5pm
2974 Waverly Drive, Silver Lake (Los Angeles), California

Silver Lake Art Collective Open Studio 2010 postcard front

As usual, I’m showing my work at the home studio of friend and fellow SLAC member Fred Chuang (that’s his address above). In addition to the two of us, several other members of the SLAC group are also holding simultaneous open studios in the neighborhood, so you can see a whole bunch of art this weekend! The tour is free and open to the public. More information here.

Besides getting to see our art up close and personal, this is a great chance to hobnob with us, meet other art enthusiasts, munch on Fred’s famous homemade turkey chili (and lots of other goodies), and pat the friendly studio dogs. It’s a fun, relaxed drop-in party. Join us!

November 9, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Art in Beverly Hills Oct 16-17, 2010

I’m exhibiting my art in this weekend’s art fair in Beverly Hills. Here’s the stats:

Beverly Hills Affaire in the Gardens
Saturday & Sunday, October 16-17, 2010
10am to 5pm
242 N. Beverly Drive (at Santa Monica Blvd), Beverly Hills, California
Free admission and free parking available on neighborhood streets.

Beverly Hills Affaire in the Gardens Oct 2009 photo by Barbara J Carter

Look for me in Booth 170, near the corner of Santa Monica Blvd and Rodeo Drive. (Yes, it’s that Rodeo Drive. Pronounced “Roe-DAY-Oh.” Although here there will be art rather than pricey boutiques.)

Can’t make the show? You’ll get one more chance to see me before the end of the year at the Silver Lake Art Collective’s 10th Annual Open Studio Tour, held in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. More info here.

And of course I always list all of my upcoming shows on my website here.

October 14, 2010 at 9:53 am 1 comment

Gearing up for the big art show

I’ve been quietly painting this summer. Now that my next big art show is just around the corner, the painting is taking on a certain urgency. I can only take finished paintings to the show, so now I’m pushing to finish up several paintings that I’ve been working on. It remains to be seen how many actually get finished in time!

Here’s a sneak peek at two of the paintings I’m working on right now. These two are done, or close enough that they’ll definitely make the cut.

Painting in progress by Barbara J Carter

Painting in progress by Barbara J Carter

My big show coming up is in northern California: Kings Mountain Art Fair. It’s September 4-6, 2010 (Labor Day Weekend). You should go!

You can always see my art show schedule here.

August 25, 2010 at 4:09 pm 2 comments

By popular demand, another dot painting

“Halo Dots” painting by Barbara J Carter (detail view)

A couple years ago I painted some large experimental abstract dot paintings. One in particular seemed to catch people’s fancy. I showed it to a group of artists for an informal critique and they really liked it. Actually, they kind of gushed over it. I was a little embarrassed because I didn’t really think it was that amazing. But it was nice that they liked it.

And then I put it away and didn’t think much about it.

It wasn’t like my “usual” work (the landscapes), so I didn’t bring it to any of my art shows or even put it on my art website. I liked it OK, but it didn’t strike me as all that amazing. Indeed, I felt some aspects of it were rather derivative. I wanted to do better.

Anyway, a few months ago I had some extra space in my art show booth so I brought it along and hung it up just to fill the space.

Ha ha, the joke’s on me. It was the one painting that I sold that weekend!

So I painted another one like it just in time to show it at my next show, two weeks later. That one got a huge amount of attention. It was by far the most popular painting I had hanging in my booth, and not too surprisingly it sold. People came up to me as I was wrapping it up, asking if I had any more like it. I promised I would make more. I painted another one after the show, and it sold. Yikes!

Now I’ve painted yet another one (shown below). It hasn’t sold… yet!

“Halo Dots” by Barbara J Carter, acrylic on canvas, 18×24″ framed to 24×30″

If it hasn’t sold by this fall, I’ll bring it to my next art show, Kings Mountain, in northern California. (If you’re in the Bay Area on Labor Day weekend, you definitely should come to this show. It’s a good one.)

I plan to paint a few more in this vein. It seems to be in demand. I might be a little slow on the uptake sometimes, but I think I finally got the message. Thank you to all the people who admired, said “wow!”, surreptitiously touched (I saw that!), and especially the ones who bought, these paintings. You are the reason I’m doing this.

You can always see all my available paintings (and some of the sold ones) on my art website, and my art show schedule is constantly being updated.

July 15, 2010 at 10:04 pm 4 comments

Painting dots… lots of dots

It’s been pretty quiet around here lately, I know.

Here’s what I’m up to these days:

Due to the popularity of paintings like this one, I’m focusing on painting more like it.

People often ask how I paint all those little perfectly-round dots on my abstract paintings. This is how: by hand, one dot at a time, using a small round brush dipped into fluid acrylic paint. The painting lies flat so the drops of paint don’t run. It’s a slow, contemplative process.

And yes, I do need to be very careful not to let my hand or sleeve smudge the wet dots. Fortunately I’m good at being careful. I haven’t smudged one yet! (Let’s hope I didn’t just jinx myself by saying that.)

June 2, 2010 at 10:03 am 4 comments

New Painting: “Sun in Trees 1”

This is the first in a new series of paintings I’m planning. I’m calling the series Sun in Trees. It’s similar to my November Sun series I ended a while ago, only now the paintings will be a little more realistic. They’ll all be based on photos rather than coming entirely from my imagination. But they’ll still have that “swirling sun” effect that so many people enjoyed in the old series.

"Sun in Trees 1" by Barbara J Carter, 10x8", acrylic on canvas

It’s a whole new challenge to create these paintings from photographs. But I think this first painting shows promise.

Here it is framed:

You can purchase this painting online here.

May 6, 2010 at 3:34 pm

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

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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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