abstract figurative art

Last night was the last of the Artsquest RiverJazz performances.  The Saucon Valley High School Jazz Ensemble opened for the Kevin Eubanks Jazz Band.  Another fabulous night of music !

Rene Camacho playing stand up bass with Kevin Eubanks

My favorite painting of the night is of Rene Camacho playing his unusual stand up bass.

I’ve posted the rest of the paintings on my ‘Chris Carter Artist’ Facebook page.  SteelStacks RiverJazz Musicians

Sketch: drawn first with dip pen followed by watercolor

A Call for Artists came through in an email last night.  To my surprise, the exhibit (in a hospital gallery) will be of nudes.  As far as I can tell the “no breasts”, “no cracks” restriction does not apply!  I have entered two, large watercolors.

Autumn Nude, Acrylic on Canvas

At the end of the month I’ll sift through my studio, saving the strong work and disposing of the weak work to make room for new explorations.  Seeing Autumn Nude was like crossing paths again with an old friend.  The opportunity to return to full-time painting is a bit overwhelming.  My approach to the business of art will be quite different this time around.

Painting: Autumn Nude – Acrylic on Canvas – 22″ wide x 28″ high. Technique: Thrown Paint, Drips and Line Drawing

One of the perks of sitting in the back corner of the Grisly Pear is that I sit next to the keyboard player and I get to watch his fingers dance upon the ivories.

Raphaeil Carrasquillo dancing on the keys

My retractable dip pen didn’t move smoothly along the surface of the watercolor paper last night.  I abandoned the pen and worked strictly with brush and paint.

I feel strangled. There are so many directions I have not been able to follow to resolution and to discovering how far I can go before the direction transforms into something beyond my expectations.


This painting has had numerous titles.  It changes each time I pull it off the rack and spend fifteen minutes with it.  There is a year’s worth of paintings waiting to be done to explore the potential of this direction.  I have become terribly frustrated with the limited time I have to paint.  I am able to grab short segments of time, but not the long, six to ten hour chunks of time I need for breaking through barriers and reaching new plateaus in my studio painting.

Grrrrrrrrrrr………. Painting at the Blues Jams allows me to hold my frustration in check.

Heads: Oil painting on gessoed masonite board. 24″ x 24″

Farewell to the Tuesday Night Blues Jam at the Larry Holmes Ringside Restaurant.

Todd Wolfe

Thanks, Larry Holmes, for a great venue. Thanks, Maria for getting it going.  Thanks, Todd, for taking on the task of running it every Tuesday night.  Thanks to all the musicians who have come out to play!

The turnout was overwhelming last night.  Where have all of you been for the last year?  Looking forward to seeing you again, the familiar faces as well as the new faces.  The windowsill was full last night, as was my heart.  The paintings will be posted tomorrow on Facebook.

Painting:  Drawn first in black ink using a dip pen, followed by watercolor.

It’s not true that all good things must end.

Rob Fraser, Steve Decker, Chas Cochran

Next week may be the last of the Tuesday Night Blues Jams at Larry Holmes Ringside Restaurant in Easton, PA.  That doesn’t mean it’s the last of the Blues Jams.  New location perhaps.  Change is not a bad thing.  Sometimes it shakes out the cobwebs.

I’m hoping to get to The Grisly Pear in New York City every other week.  That leaves two weeks free to explore new options within about forty minutes of my home so that I don’t fall asleep driving back to New Jersey.

Several of last night’s paintings ended up in primary colors.  I like the vitality.

Dutchman singing Boop Boop ....

Paintings: Drawn first with black ink using dip pen, followed by watercolor.

While collecting paper scraps for painting tomorrow night at a Blues Jam in New York City I found this energetic little drawing.  It was just what I needed to raise my spirits.

Three Dancers, pen and ink line drawing

During one of my sort and trash moods I rejected this drawing and tossed it into the box of rejected paintings that still have one side left to paint on.  I’m not sure why I discarded it.  Tonight I find it quite acceptable.  The lines are varied and work well to create an illusion of three figures interacting with one another.  Energy flows out toward the edges of the paper and pulled back in toward the waist of the central figure … then pushed out again.  There is a pulse, a shared rhythm, a moment of harmonic movement of six arms and six legs.  It makes me smile.

This little drawing may find its way back into the box of scrap paper, but not for a while.

Drawing in black ink using a dip pen with flexible nib.

Next Page »