Posts filed under ‘Studio’

New studio lights

The one thing I hated about my studio:

Ceiling fan light

The lights. These ridiculously dim lights allowed you to walk around without stubbing your toe, but that was about all they were good for. For painting, or reading, or pretty much anything else, more light was desperately needed.

I set up a couple of workshop lights, those bright-yellow halogen-lamp things, aimed at the ceiling. The bounced light allowed me to work in the studio, but they were very hot. Not to mention inconvenient to turn each one on and off manually. Plus they took up valuable floorspace. It allowed me to work, but it was clearly a temporary solution.

This week I finally had some REAL lights installed. Ta da!

New lights in Barbara J Carter's art studio

Daylight-balanced fluorescent lights. LOTS of them!

Light now floods every square inch of my studio. The space looks bigger with all this light. Even the corners are well-lit, which had previously faded away in the dim shadows.

With a flip of a single switch I am ready to work. Ahh, lovely.


June 29, 2011 at 12:29 am 3 comments

The Art Studio is Moving

My art studio (and all the rest of my life) is moving. Moving! To a bigger space where I will be able to make bigger art, and where I will also be closer to all the cool arty stuff that goes on in Los Angeles.

This is a big step. It was a long time coming. Years of dreaming and looking and wishing, months (many months!) of serious shopping and offering and rejections, and finally several agonizing weeks of negotiating and stress and lousy sleep. At long last it’s a done deal. I’m moving into my new space, and I couldn’t be happier.

I got the keys yesterday:

We start moving this weekend. Yay! So excited.

October 1, 2010 at 9:34 am 2 comments

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

Open Studio this Weekend!

Open Studio with Barbara J Carter and Fred Chuang

When: Saturday & Sunday November 14-15, 2009.

Where: Fred’s home studio at 2974 Waverly Drive, Silver Lake (Los Angeles), California. Call 323-661-0595 if you get lost.

Hours: 11am to 5pm both days.

This is a very casual event. You can enjoy both artists’ art, pat the nice doggies, have some munchies, and just generally relax and have a good time.

By the way, this is my last art event until sometime next spring (date TBD). If you’ve been meaning to see my latest work and haven’t gotten around to it, this is your last chance for quite a while!

While you’re at it, you should also go see the large annual public exhibit of works by members of the Silver Lake Art Collective, which we both belong to. We’ve both got large pieces in the exhibit. It’s just a few minutes away, so you might as well take it in while you’re in the neighborhood for the open studio.

Silver Lake Arts Collective Annual Members Exhibit

When: November 7-29, 2009

Where: Citibank building, 2450 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, 90039. Enter through the metal gates at the north end of the Citibank building (the end opposite the main bank entrance). Park inside the gate or in the Citibank main lot (the latter is easier to maneuver in).

Hours: Open Wednesdays through Sundays, 11am to 5pm. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Friday after Thanksgiving.

Closing Reception: Sunday November 29, 1-5pm. I missed the Opening Reception, but I’ll be there for the Closing!

November 12, 2009 at 9:25 pm 1 comment

My very first open studio is Saturday!

Just a quick reminder: I’m holding my very first open studio art party at my studio this Saturday, September 12, 2009, from 1pm to 6pm.

My cluttered studio will be open to visitors Saturday

My cluttered studio will be open to visitors Saturday

My studio is located in Valencia (Santa Clarita), California. That’s just north of Los Angeles. Everyone who is subscribed to my monthly email newsletter got all the details including the address. Want in too? Drop me an email! (

September 8, 2009 at 11:18 pm

Open Studio November 8-9, 2008

You’re invited to an open studio this weekend!

Artist Fred Chuang throws open the doors of his home studio once a year, and this year he’s invited me to join him.


We’ll both have our art hanging throughout his home at 2974 Waverly Drive, in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles, CA, from 11am to 5pm both Saturday and Sunday.

There’ll be food, fun, friendly dogs, and good cheer. Free admission, of course. I hope to see you there!

November 5, 2008 at 11:29 am 1 comment

Studio Reorganization Progress

There’s been some real progress in my studio reorganization project. And some mission creep, too.

My original intent when I moved here two years ago was to keep the home office out of the studio. I had it all planned out: art stuff goes in the studio, home office goes in the kitchen. I had the movers put my desk in the kitchen. I meant to put the computer on the desk, keeping it out of the studio entirely.

Things didn’t quite turn out how I’d envisioned. I use the computer a lot for my art, including processing reference photos, archiving photos of completed paintings, updating my web site, blogging, keeping track of art shows, accounting, updating my mailing list, and so on. The computer quickly migrated into the studio. Some, but not all, of my home-office stuff followed. Envelopes and stamps were still in the kitchen, but the checkbook was in my studio. Paying bills, printing photos, mailing applications to shows, and numerous other everyday tasks involved running back and forth between the studio at one end of the house and the kitchen at the other. How ridiculous!

So, with help, I’ve finally moved the desk into the studio, where it should have been all along. I finally have desk drawers for office supplies! I also moved a tall bookcase and my paper storage “tower” into the studio. The stamps and envelopes now have a good home right by the desk, along with other frequently-used items.

What is my paper storage tower? It’s this:

The “tower” is two laminate shelving units stacked on top of each other, with extra shelves added to make more slots. I made it years ago to hold all my different kinds of paper: lined paper, tracing paper, colored paper, printer paper, envelopes, labels, folders, sheet protectors, slide sheets, etc. Paper is best stored flat, so the tower was very handy for that.

Over the years it got full. Too full. In order to move it from the kitchen to the studio, I had to empty it out. That gave me the opportunity to re-sort its contents. After two years of running to the kitchen for envelopes, stamps, lined paper, blank notecards, labels, etc, I know EXACTLY which things I use most often. Those things get to stay in the tower, and the rest can go elsewhere.

This highlights the biggest organizational breakthrough for me. This whole home-office-slash-studio reorganization project is based on the simple idea that the things that get used the most need to be kept close by, and things that don’t get used very often are stored farther away. I know, it sounds stupidly simple, but it’s taken me a long time to realize what a powerful concept this is. The whole studio reorganization is based on this concept. Blank canvases, which I need often, will be kept handy. Printer paper is stored right by the printer. Envelopes and stamps are next to the desk. Art tools that I hardly ever use will go to the back of the closet. Books I reference frequently get to stay in the studio. Books I hardly ever use will go elsewhere.

But this means there are things coming out of the studio that need to be stored somewhere else in my home. Ah, there’s the rub. There’s a lot of stuff in the way of that happening. Which has precipitated a cascade of reorganizing and decluttering all over the house.

When I moved here I didn’t know exactly what I would use, so I brought a little more than I really needed. A few extra pieces of furniture, a few extra pillows and blankets, a little more clothing, and so on. With no attic and no basement, the extra stuff all ended up stuffed in closets and the garage. Especially the garage.

The garage is getting full. There’s a lot of stuff out there that I haven’t used since I moved here. At this point it’s obvious that it can go. If I haven’t used it in two years, I probably don’t need it! How to get rid of it all? A garage sale!

So I’m having a garage sale. You can actually make a little money from a garage sale, if you have enough stuff and price it low enough to actually sell most of it. I’ve done this a couple times before, and it’s a LOT of work, but it’s so worth it! I’m very excited about it.

Mission creep: the project has grown from a (not very) simple studio reorganization to a whole-house purge and garage sale. Yikes!

It’ll be worth it. I keep telling myself that.

September 17, 2008 at 11:20 pm 1 comment

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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.

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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