yoga art


Here is another photo of a new painting hanging in the Bone and Joint area of St. Lukes Hospital in Bethlehem, PA.

Figures in Motion, Watercolor

Thanks to Monsoon Gallery in Bethlehem, PA for  providing this incredible opportunity for me to have my favorite work hung in a place of healing.  Erin did a fabulous job with the matting and framing!  I look forward to seeing the paintings in person.

Paintings in the hallway of St Lukes Hospital

All of the paintings were done in watercolor or pen and ink with watercolor.  They ranged in size from 18″ x 24″ up to 24″ x 48″ unmatted.  Some of them are figures in yoga postures, others are figures dancing and the large ones are of people in line, dancing, talking and interacting in one way or another.

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How ironic.

Figure to inspire the body to heal.

My intent has always been to enable the healing of body, heart and soul through the images of my art.

Along the way I became known, through solo gallery exhibitions, for the somewhat abstract images of breasts and buttocks.  That was not my intent.  Eventually, I also became known for brilliant color in the simple images of my Yoga Art and the quick paintings of musicians and dancers during live performances.

Put a thought, a dream, a goal, into the universe and it will begin to manifest.  Just as parents cannot control the result of their spawning, I can’t control the result of the seed planted by my hopes and thoughts.

I’ve been commissioned, based on prior work,  to paint ten paintings to be hung on the walls of a new hospital.  Perfect!

However……. there can be no breasts, no cracks and no bright colors!  Well….. alright then……

I can still do it.

The thought of anyone, any one single person, viewing my art in the hospital and finding inspiration to heal themselves, to the best of their ability, makes this a challenge I’m willing to accept.

An added stipulation is that the paintings must be large!  The yoga art, the zakar art, and all the paintings of musicians painted live have been quite small due to the fact that I paint them in the yoga studio, a dark theater or a bar.  When enlarged, all of the inaccuracies of anatomy scream rather loudly from the paper.

And then there is the issue of color.  I have worked non-stop for three years to bring my color to brilliance…. and I will continue to work on that as soon as I meet the demand of creating “acceptable” figure paintings in browns and neutrals to match the walls of the hospital.

So far…. I have painted twenty, twelve of which are acceptable (in my mind).  I plan on painting forty and picking the best fifteen to twenty from those. From those, the client may pick the ten to frame and hang.

I ask you….. what is a body without breasts and buttocks?

Don’t expect too many postings in the next few weeks.  I have only two to three weeks to meet this challenge.  Wish me luck!

These little ones are gems.

Yoga Art, Utkatasana or Chair Posture, watercolor

Doing little paintings like this is a great way to use tiny scraps of rag mat board!  Both ink and watercolor work extremely well on the quality, archival mat board.  The little scraps are easy to carry with you in a small envelope instead of, or in addition to, a sketchbook.  The surface doesn’t wrinkle as it does with the thinner sketchbook paper.

These are both tiny paintings.  The image is 2″ x 4″.  I cut the mat either 5″ x 7″ or 8″ x 10″ for a larger border.  These two have just been added to the yoga art section on my Etsy Store.

In response to gentle nudges I’ve started listing more yoga art on my etsy store.

Downward Facing Dog, watercolor

While sorting through boxes of little watercolors to give as gifts to friends and family I came across dozens of yoga art paintings that had survived the culling process only to be buried under a multitude of paintings of dancers and musicians.  Though I dread spending even more time at the computer, I’ve decided it’s time to scan them and post them on my etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/chriscarterart.  I’ll try posting one or two a day until they are all up on the site.  During this holiday season I keep running into friends who tell me they miss seeing these playful little paintings since I have taken a break from exhibiting in galleries.

Val's Yoga Belly dance Fusion

Val's Yoga Belly dance Fusion

I am about to sort through several hundred paintings and, hopefully, toss more than half of them into the green dumpster that sits in the driveway, hungry for art.   My home studio is one sixth the size of the studio I moved out of in January and is not large enough to store the mediocre strokes of line and dashes of color that are taking up valuable space on the shelves and in boxes on the floor.  More importantly, I don’t want to spend the time evaluating the work that doesn’t excite me, hoping that next time around I will find it worthy of a mat or a frame to dress it up for a gallery wall.  If the work doesn’t thrill me the way that Val’s Yoga/Belly Dance Fusion does, out it goes.

Tonight I will sleep well, having made room for new work.

Five hours later ……..  the dumpster is full.

Gyrotonic-Brenda-8-Chris-Carter-watercolor-ink-zakar-artDuring the past two weeks I was given the opportunity to experience two very different experiences of Zakar Art. The first was a result of painting during the Zumba fundraising event benefiting The Butterfly Project. At the benefit I met Dorian, a wonderful energetic woman who is opening a center for Gyrotonic Exercise in Flemington, NJ. She asked me to visit her studio and paint her clients working out on the Gyrotonic equipment. The second experience was painting during a Kirtan Yoga session at Easton Yoga in Easton, PA. The Wild Lotus Band, based in New Orleans returned to Easton Yoga, offering us an incredible opportunity to experience the energy and balance of their rhythms and vocal chants.

Kirtan-yoga-wild-lotus-band-11-chris-carter-art-062809

What continues to delight, amuse and amaze me is the different strokes and flows that come out of me with different music, movement, people and environment. I was like a newborn heading into the Gyrotonic experience. How would I incorporate a machine with a body and be happy with the balance of the flow? How little I trust my instincts and the thirty odd years that I have held a brush in my hand. How little I trust the forty three years of meditating. Perhaps I will learn to trust that it will pour out of me as long as let the energy of others pour into me.

Thank you, Dorian. Thank you Sean and the Wild Lotus Band. What a privilege to have been asked to paint to your dedicated energy.

The hot, sticky night left me short of time this morning, my body feeling sluggish and unmotivated to spring out of bed, refresh myself in the shower and dash down the road to the studio to pick up my painting supplies for this morning’s yoga class. Instead, I grabbed a small tin of paints, a handful of tiny scraps of watercolor paper, a couple of brushes, a few paper towels and a plastic cup for water.

Hot nights generally result in low attendance to the early morning class. Quite a few of the regulars didn’t show up. A perfect situation to step out of the “norm”.

I found myself in a different state of mind, tuning into the space around the figure and allowing it to merge with the figure, blurring the boundaries of inner and outer energy. As I look at the resulting paintings, poetry comes to mind.