Wednesday, October 17, 2012


The opening of the gallery is an opportunity to participate in the viewing and purchase of  original one of kind works of art for the discriminating collector and appreciator. The works are all painting, drawing and collage with no photographic or printmaking processes involved.
These works evoke feeling and emotion not typical in the mediocre stasis of todays 's art market of glitz and hype. Based on land and figurative impressionism an ever evolving engagement in the active viewing of these works allows the viewer to bring their own narrative to each piece and explore ever more intimately the realms of a deep art viewing experience.

Divination,  2012  5"x7"
Oil, acrylic, charcoal, graphite, conte and thread on paper

Deep in the Woods,  2011 36"x24"
Shellac, oil, acrylic, steel wool, fabric, paper and thread on paper

Umber No. 56: Transparence,  1994-2012  42"x36"
Oil and thread on paper

As Night Falls So Mourning Begins,  2012  40"x40"x1.5"
Graphite, oil, sumi ink, acrylic, fabric, paper and string on canvas

Ephemerals,  1996-2010  48"x68"x2"
Oil, acrylic, tarp and paper on canvas and panels

Love's Near, 1996-2010 48"x95"x2"
Oil, acrylic, sumi ink, oil skins, tarp, paper and wood on canvas and panel

Emergence, 1996-2010  98"x48"x2"
Oil, acrylic, tarp, oil skin, varnish, material and wood box on panels

For purchase please contact artist:

Monday, October 1, 2012


October 13th & 14th
October 20th & 21st
At the Studios of Glenn Carter 

Glenn Carter  Artist #190
154 National St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
 Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County

Image: Within the Monolith, 2012  Mixed media on paper, 15"x11"
Glenn Carter Solo Exhibition
Michael Angelo Gallery
October 5th-28th, 2012
1111-A River St. Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Opening Reception Friday October 5th 2012
6pm - 8:30pm

Image: Form and Gesture Suite No. 4,  2010 Mixed media on paper, 42"x36"

Working in October

Open Studio  2012


Seventy Five New Works

Moonrise,  2012  7"x5"
  Oil, acrylic, sumi ink, thread and paper on paper 

Portal,  2012  7"x5"
Oil, charcoal,thread and paper on paper
$185 sold

Passage,  2012  7"x5"
oil, acrylic, sumi ink, string and paper on paper

Mentor, 2012 7"x5"
Oil, sumi ink, acrylic, thread and paper on paper

Alpine, 2012  7"x5"
Oil, acrylic, sumi ink, paper and thread on paper
$185 sold

For purchase information contact artist:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


CONTINUATION of the post from June 27, 2012 titled

Definitions of components:
Mass:   Light Tarp at upper section
Void:   Dark painted area surrounding the Mass
Surface:Dark landscape type passage at lower section
Form:   Agave root and stem projecting from center of Mass

The Surface and Mass
At this point I made a decision to keep the lower Surface section as a drawing and painting area and continue to elaborate the Mass section as sculptural using collage and build up techniques.
The Surface was next to be developed according to the graphite painting, to which I was staying faithful.
. The hairlike branchless tree forms were laid in with charcoal and dragged with a dry brush to pull the pigment in a horizontal sweeping direction, fixed and the entire lower section was finished with a gloss acrylic varnish.
The topography of the Mass surface required further description and laying black lines of string across the surface offered that ability while echoing the horizontal in the lower section. The string was glued with acrylic medium on to the tarp surface.
The detail below illustrates an effective way to pursue the string gluing on a table type elevation.
Note the center of the tarp (the unbonded circle) was cut open and stuffed with towel to create the mound effect so the strings would follow the contour of the eruptive surface from which the Form will appear to be emerging.

The detail below illustrates the means of keeping the ongoing layout of black string in a relatively level positioning. Also the white glaze over the black blotting on the tarp surface is easily visible.
Below that is a side view detail of the Mass surface in a wall mount position.

Surface Development
As the lines of string are being glued onto the Mass, a time consuming and arduous process, the Surface was also being worked on. In this photo glazes are starting to describe the quality of atmosphere over the landscape that would convey a sense of passing and vagueness like memories moving through one's view.

Mass Nearing Completion
Upon completing the first pass of string glue down across the entire surface of the Mass a further articulation of the surface was required to create the sense of a more living type surface, a back and forth, an in and out, of the parallel lines, less of an even look and a more atmospheric effect.

Interior Face of The Focal Point and the Spiral
The inside face, the background base for the Form, was lined with silver leaf and a red dye mulberry paper was varnished over it. This allows for a strong reflective surface behind the translucent red dye. A dot pattern was scratched through the wet dyed paper during the adhesion process.
To maintain the elevation of the surface of the mound a screen collar was fabricated and installed similar to the base of a cone.
Also of note is the definition of the spiral emanating from the focalpoint. The spiral was drawn on the surface of the tarp soon after the white glazing process with pastel and is flat, not in relief. The illusion of relief was achieved by arcing the string over the line consistently as each string was laid out, just like drawing.

Finished Piece
The Surface was glazed and manipulated a couple of more times, as was the Void, to further the desired effect of deep space and distant memory.
A passage of black acrylic was applied at the very bottom portion and manipulated with water and gravity to further the dialogue with the Void and create another atmospheric break delineating still another space of psychological interest. It represents a cutaway side view of the Void behind the Mass. This entire section of the piece is a perspective shift. The Mass-Void portion viewed from above looking down and the lower Surface portion, a side view of the Mass-Void portion.
A red oil bar was dragged from one side to the other echoing the red behind the Form and adding to the visual interest and connecting that part of the theme of the narrative.

124" x 100" x 33" 
Thoughts, Metaphors and Narrative
The notes on the photo above describe some of the layering of  concept behind the piece.

All photos and text are courtesy and copyright of Glenn Carter

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


 The Process of Inspiration
 The spirit of idea forms in it's movement  a response to the gut, the heart, the groin, the physical twitch of a vision. Momentum from this experience can propel the artist into the mist of creativity, a spark of clarity into the depths of the unknown.
 The following photos represent an attempt to define the process of building a painting and articulate some of the response to the ever present process of observing and working.

Deceased Agave  Root and Stem Base
Initial response to this Agave root and stem was one of amazement at the sculptural structure and the preserved nature of a deceased plant material. It suggests many images and metaphors. Wanting to honor it and it's kingdom, of which I am fond of, I started searching where and in what context it might find it's way.This is a starting point of the creative drive behind my work and the inspirational Mystery becomes the thrust of the piece.

Painter's Drop-cloth with Agave Root
The Sketching Process
This tarp which had been moistened, folded and left outside was the second item of inspiration for the painting no intent was made at thinking about it other than a wonder in the molding process taking place on the surface of this unusual unintended form. The shape, scale and organic surface moved me to envision some kind of heroic cloak, shirt or cape a vague kind of iconic vestment. It sat in this placement on the studio wall with the agave root for a few weeks as I would pass by and glean something that it might say as to its next incarnation, an assemblage of the inanimate to the animate, a  glimpse into the mystery of a vision, an articulation of some breath from the mystic.

Finding A Way: The Graphite Painting
As the draw to dive into a large scale piece, based on the hanging tarp and plant grew, I stumbled upon a graphite and alkyd painting from 15 years back titled "Surface" (above). That was the voice from the mystery that led the way. For a week prior to finding "Surface" I had been pondering the title for a piece or exhibition that contained that word. This is the kind of magic that inspires the momentum for my work. A happenstance of chance and being, open to the observation and flexibility to bend to a given direction from and into the unknown, the Mystery.

Conceptualizing:  Drawing some possibilities
Next was drawing some potential visions of components and combinations of value envisioning some type of Mass hovering over a landscape similar to the graphite painting from 15 years ago.

Beginning the process: Grounds and practical considerations
To accommodate the size of the tarp and create a similar format as the graphite painting I needed a ground that would measure 10' x 8'. I opted for a vertical rather than the concept drawing that was a horizontal format and reused four previous canvas on stretchers that measured 4' x 5'2" each. this translated into a 10'4" high by 8' wide finished piece of four joined gessoed canvases split at the middle. This will allow for storage, shipping and working on the floor in a more economical way.
The tarp was steamed leaving the mold stains in a halo state. It was then gathered where the agave root would be positioned this created a series of natural folds emanating from the focal point.

Placement and underpainting
The opportunity to have imagery appear from behind the tarp  was cued off the original mold stains on the tarp. I traced the outline of the placed tarp, removed it, and painted a black gesso mirror image of the shape, leaving the central circle for the agave root, blank. Then the dry tarp was placed over the wet  black acrylic gesso, to blot, hand smoothed and left to dry.
The thin line below the image is string taped on either side as a horizon reference to allow for positioning  of the tarp relative to the whole composition and layout masking between the upper and lower portions of the piece.

The detail below is black gesso creeping past the horizon reference an unintended consequence that will later prove to be unintended on my part but not the consequence of the Mystery process.

In this view the tarp has been manipulated and glued to the surfaces, except at the central circle, with an acrylic gel medium. The horizon is now masked with tape to delineate a shift between the two desired spaces of content. While the whole piece was on the floor and the bonding dry , the tarp was cut along horizontal meridian so that the top canvas section could be separated from the lower canvas section as mentioned in the beginning of the process..

The Void
Based on the graphite painting the area around the tarp, The Void, is now value rendered using various wet on wet techniques with acrylic. Note that the lower portion is masked with plastic to preserve the white surface as a fresh ground of light on which to work. The composition is still following the dictates of the graphite piece but presenting it's own dictates that move the work in unexpected and magical ways.  
The detail below illustrates a method of platforming enabling  one to work over a large inaccessible surface.

The Mass
At this point the tarp (Mass) was competing visually with the Void. To mitigate this, the surface of the Mass was sealed with acrylic medium and over glazed with a white tinted acrylic medium in an attempt to calm that surface down and allow the Void and Mass to exist visually together in a non competing way on the same picture plane.
 Now that the upper portion is gaining direction it was time to start laying out the lower portion of the piece. What is visible in this view is a piece of paper at the horizon with an initial layout of charcoal line that will describe the distant horizon in the lower portion similar to the graphite painting.

The Surface
This section of the piece is following the graphite painting fairly close. Graphite on this ground was unserviceable so I moved to charcoal, solvent, and alkyd for the base rendering to allow a lengthened snap time and enable  the manipulation of the combined mediums on the surface to achieve the desired effect of a landmass type surface.
Note the cut template taped above which described the undulating horizon. Also the agave root (Form) was hung to further encourage dialogue between the parts.

Glazing the Void
The lower surface needed a couple of days to dry so back to theVoid with an overglaze of oil ultramarine blue. Brushed onto a surface of wet clear alkyd medium. The paint was softened to a sheer translucence and blotted to bring back some of the light whiter values in the background.
At this point the piece is feeling solid in it's aspects of foundation and cohesion. The lower portion is ready for articulation . The upper is uncharted territory waiting for the whisper.

BUILDING A PIECE: PART TWO  will continue on the next posting.

All photos and text courtesy and copyright of Glenn Carter

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Some paintings are as much about the surface as the subject and one often echoes the other.
Texture, sheen, quality of feel, a seductive topography of disparate materials and imagery.Traditional viewing of paintings is full frontal, head height or such. The opportunity for viewing as the painter can , while in process, is not typically offered a viewer. Changing one's view can often lead to changing one's perspective of the observed reality that we are engaged in at that moment and in turn this new way of seeing can open up other moments of a new clarity.

"The Painting"  2012      42" x 42"
Mixed Media Collage and Paint on Canvas
Traditional viewing and wall presentation.

Note: the following pictures (from the painting above) are images of a happenstance in the painting process and were only observed  close to completion of the piece. There was no intention toward a specific description of land and water merely a fluid state of resolve in the process of painting and composition. That being said, the work is land based abstraction and this leads to the larger mystery of the interconnectedness of time, space and being.

The New Perspective: An Alternate Viewing Experience (below)
The surface seen flat and looking across the upper mid section from the left side to the right. The photo is a poor example of the surface relief, but one can appreciate the altered vantage point of such a view.

Listening to the Water (below)
This view (flat) is looking across the lower mid section right toward the upper left hand corner. The foreground is sumi ink on mulberry paper finished with a gloss acrylic varnish. A group of red strings transitions to a more varied paper on top of numerous other papers and thread. White over glazing and a dull varnish finish give a depth illusion. In the distance garnet shellac on cheesecloth and paper. 

Detail View

Detail View:  Looking from the bottom of the piece towards the top

Detail View: Looking from the top right hand corner of string and wax a sumi paper ridge breaks to a water like surface with a shellacked cheesecloth beach in the distance.

Views Along the Edges 
The often ignored side edges of a painting can become a landscape unto them self. This view is of the top right hand corner.

Detail View: Lower right side 

Detail View: The strong relief in this piece becomes apparent in this view looking across the center field towards the upper right corner prior to vertical red string install.

Mystery Below the Surface: This is a view of the upper section looking form left to right. The dark form beneath the layer of the light glazed paper is bulging at the skin like surface. As if a life form is residing below this sheer translucent shell.

All photos and text courtesy and copyright of Glenn Carter 2012