In spite of the fact that I rarely if ever post on this blog, or the CreativeColor Blog anymore, I continue to have new subscribers on both.

Flowering Purple Oxalis Mandala

Flowering Purple Oxalis Mandala

For those new subscribers, as well as the rest of you, I want to remind you that I post more regularly on my website blog.  Link: ChrisCarterArt.com/blog.  You may subscribe by following the link.  You may also subscribe for the monthly newsletter.  The “Subscribe To Newsletter” box is below the “Subscribe To Blog” box. Two separate subscriptions.

I’ve posted quite a few new videos on Vimeo.com/chriscarterart ….. check those out, too!

Since my return to traveling, teaching workshops, painting en plein air and intuitive studio painting, the creative juices are flowing like Niagara Falls.  The focused color study by playing the color Scheme Game is paying off.  This year’s focus is on design through geometry.  I’ll be teaching in Maryland in March and back in California in May, November, and possibly July or August.  The workshops are better than ever thanks to the feedback from my students!  Workshops and Events are posted on my website as well as updated in the monthly Newsletter.

I hope you tune in to the new blog.

Counting the days until I find myself back in the Bay Area!

Orbs No. 22 - 22" x 30" Watercolor and Collage

Orbs No. 22 – 22″ x 30″
Watercolor and Collage

In the last week, I hung one solo show and dropped a dozen paintings off for the Sawmill Gallery Invitational that opened on Friday evening.  Both shows look fabulous.  The exhibit at Blue in Portland, Maine just ended.  All of the paintings for the upcoming exhibit Orbs, Science & Healing at the Bouras Gallery, Overlook Medical Center, must be framed and catalogued before I leave for California next week.  No wonder I haven’t been posting on my blogs lately!  In the middle of it all, a very dear friend reconnected, inspired and provided the fuel for the energy I have needed to produce and market this exciting new body of work!  Life is wonderful, to say the least.

If you live near Santa Rosa, please check out the workshops I will be teaching September 26, 27, 28 & 29 at RileyStreet Art Supply, Santa Rosa, CA.  Calendar of Workshops and Events

Painting:  Orbs No. 22, 22″ x 30″ watercolor with a tiny piece of handmade paper added.

Dedicated to Wayne and Dolly.   I know….. three months haven’t passed and I’m posting here again.  What I needed was to clarify the purpose of each blog.

Airing-out-tent-web

After discussing the ins and outs of blogs with X this morning, I realized I would miss the opportunity that Third Time Around gives me to share who I am and what I care about outside the periphery of actually painting and drawing.  I would miss the journaling of odd but meaningful thoughts and experiences that I want to make note of. As I took my two-man tent of of it’s stuff sack for the first time in more than two decades, I remembered exactly why I started this blog and why I call it Third Time Around.

I turn 62 in October.  I’m at the beginning of my third phase of life.  With the experiences and knowledge I’ve acquired during my first two phases, I have most of the tools I need to make my third phase unbelievably wonderful ….. as long as I stay healthy.  But there’s no time to waste.  I have to start doing all those things I told myself I wanted to do when I grew up.  Some of those things I no longer care about and I’ve crossed them off the list.  I’m finding ways to do the things remaining on the list as well as constant additions to the list.  One is taking workshops with instructors whose work I respect and admire.  Another is wilderness painting.

I’m registered for Susan Abbott’s workshop at her Vermont Studio in early August.  I’d rather take two workshops and camp in a tent than take one workshop and stay in a hotel or B&B.  So that’s what I’m doing.  Camping in August will be a test run for camping at Mount Diablo in California at the end of September.

Why is this post dedicated to Wayne and Dolly? Because this is the tent I bought so that I could go with them to the Brandywine Fiddle Festival more than thirty years ago.  The moon was full, the fiddlers played all night long sipping moonshine and dancing with a feverish energy I’ve never again witnessed.  I felt alive …. incredibly alive.  I was thirty years old and entering into my second phase of life.

It’s as if this tent waited for me to be ready to invent myself yet again.  There are no holes in it and it doesn’t smell nasty.  I’m looking forward to get reacquainted.

Some things can be taught … some things cannot.

Abstract Design from Traced Objects

Abstract Design from Traced Objects – Watercolor on Rives BFK Paper (6″ x 9″)

While preparing to teach the upcoming Watercolor Techniques Workshop in Santa Rosa, I decided to snap some photos of a painting in progress to illustrate several of the techniques I’ll be teaching.  Techniques are easy to teach. How to use tools is easy to teach.  The fundamentals of art are all easy to teach, presenting them in a variety of ways so that students who learn concepts differently will all grasp the basic idea.  It’s up to the students to practice what is learned in classes and workshops.

Tools and Techniques can be taught , but Translation is difficult if not impossible to teach.  How does one teach the translation of an unspoken language, the language of vision combined with unseen light waves and sound waves, rhythms of movement through a three-dimensional space?

Some paintings are rooted to tools and techniques, never stepping over the line into the realm of chance and possibilities where the “what if” thrives, where the population of  things gone wrong and unresolved paintings far outnumber the paintings that are a step above everything else, those that usually don’t follow the rules.  Something else has happened during the process of creation that make a painting as unique as every child, even identical twins whose genetics are the same.  Something has happened. Often, that something will happen in a spot or two of a painting.  It is a true gem when a painting as a whole declares its independence from the artist and can stand alone in a crowd without explanation.

The above painting began like this:

Early stage of painting

Early stage of painting

The composition gave me a hard time.  The pivot point is plunk in the middle of the painting.  I struggled for hours, layering, wiping out, scrubbing, splatting, wiping out, glazing ….. and more lifting of paint.  Two hours into it I stopped snapping photos of the methods I was using to try to resolve the painting.  Six hours in, it began to breath a life of its own.  I was in battle mode and didn’t notice for a while.  It fought …. and I fought back.  The painting finally won.  I allowed it to be completely different from what I thought it should be.  I was even a bit angry with it.

I went to bed disgruntled.

When I awoke this morning I was surprised that the painting expressed everything I had intended, patterns, textures, interweaving of shapes as they move through space, a glow of light against mysterious darks reaching far beyond the flat surface of the paper.

I can encourage my students to step across the line.  I can even push a few across, but I can’t teach any of them how to translate their heart beats and their breath.  Nor can I teach them what drives me to draw and paint each and every day of my life.  I could say it is the joy of drawing and painting.  It’s not just the joys, it is also that I grow stronger hrom each battle I fight, whether I have won or lost, it makes no difference.  For the hundreds of paintings I’ve sold and exhibited, I’ve thrown away ten times that number.  If I ever get to the point where I’m not discarding most of my paintings it will mean I’ve stopped taking risks and stopped searching for new ways to translate my world.  I don’t ever want to see the day that I don’t take the chance of creating an unsuccessful painting.

Image:  Watercolor and a touch of unsuccessfully sprayed ink using a mouth atomizer.

Another sleepless night.

Lily Drinking Cup Holder

My brain wouldn’t shut down after teaching the Color Scheme Workshop at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Bedminster, New Jersey.  My five students were wonderful.  They worked hard and didn’t complain at all.

Thanks to the great feedback from the students, I can cut an hour from the color wheel and value painting exercises so that we can get on to playing the game sooner.  There is so much information to cram into a half-day workshop!  A five hour workshop has now been scheduled for February 26th, 2013.  The extra hour is still not quite enough, but it will help.  I’m looking forward to teaching a three day workshop!  If anyone is interested, please let me know.

Sketchbook drawing:  drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Black ink followed by watercolor washes. Color Scheme: Double Complementary.  Yellow and Violet, Blue and Orange.

It’s time to register for The Color Scheme Game Workshop at The Center for Contemporary Art!

Date: September 12, 2012, 10 am til 2 pm.  All you need to bring is three tubes of any yellow, any blue and any red watercolor paint.  I will provide everything else!  A pencil and sketchbook is always recommended, of course, but not an essential this time around.

Color Scheme Game Workshop Materials

Here is a link to the course description and registration: The Color Scheme Game Workshop

My magic bag is filled with paper, palettes, brushes, vintage dip pen nib holders, nibs, vintage fountain pens, mechanical pencils, a variety of colored inks, ink vial holders, handmade sketchbooks, color chart templates, Color Scheme Game Rules and cards as well as plenty of dice.

An eight page coptic bound sketchbook made from Rives BFK paper, a twelve-sided die, a set of Color Scheme Game Cards, along with print outs of all rules to The Color Scheme Game as well as The Extended Color Scheme Game will be sent home with each of the students.  In addition, a package of templates to use at home to make and use your own color wheels will also be part of the take home loot!

Join us for the fun on September 12th.  If you can’t make it then, you might want to schedule your own Color Scheme Game Party Night or arrange for a workshop in your area.

I am beginning to send out notices to garden clubs, arts stores,art associations, libraries and environmental centers to schedule demonstrations and/or workshops.  If you have any locations in mind, please let me know.

Thanks!

I am, forever, a student. The printmaking workshop I’m attending is opening up boulevards of new options for visual expression.

line drawing with the end of a paintbrush

The possibilities are endless  My head spins, dizzy with excitement.  It could be that printmaking will help me to pull my diversity together to sing my song with one voice rather than a mismatched choir.

Monoprint

I love being able to continue working with one plate, leaving a ghost image of the previous print.  I posted my last print from Tuesday on the Creative Color Blog.  It’s my favorite, using torn paper.  I absolutely love the fibers along the edges.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a printing press at home.  As a substitue I will place my plate and paper between two half inch sheets of plywood screwed together and drive my car over it.  Maybe, I’ll manage to do that this weekend!