Come On, 9 x 12 inches, acrylic on canvas.
E SEES painting as not just a career, but also a
strategy for engendering a good mood and posi-tive
“It’s therapeutic for me,” he says. “My outlook
changes a little bit if I don’t get to paint. I can feel
it. Art gets my endorphins going; it clears my head
and I don’t think about anything else. When I’m
painting, my brain slows down and I can clear my head.”
These paintings, along with his totally abstract works like “What
Tomorrow Holds,” reveal one of Carter’s historical influences: abstract
expressionism. This is visible in some of the paint application tech-niques
he uses, as well as his views on the role of the artist and value of
art. He describes the experience of creating as personally and socially
uplifting, and thinks of the process as just as important as the product.
This perspective is one he shares with famous abstract expressionists,
including Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.
Unique in his body of work is the Animals series, which features
whimsical, often humorous portraits of farm animals, wildlife, and
beloved pets. While this is the only truly representational series he
currently produces, it connects to one of the primary appeals that art
holds for Carter: its ability to inspire cheer.
“Color triggers happiness,” he says, and the transmission of joy is
chief among his goals.
“Come On,” for example, depicts a cow in three-quarters perspec-tive.
The animal’s head and shoulders are painted on a subtle field of
teal and light green. The viewer is positioned slightly below the animal,
which seems to tilt its head down, inquisitively.
“Let’s Play,” another in the series, depicts a smiling and curious baby
elephant. Highlighted on one side with a swath of vibrant yellow-orange
and surrounded by subtle paint splatters, one can’t help but
smile imagining the subject romping gleefully.
In December, Carter will partner with Art in Bloom Gallery to benefit
the Betty H. Cameron Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Ten percent of
the proceeds from the work he sells will go to the hospital.
“Everyone needs to be socially responsible, including artists,” he
says. “If we can work on being good people first, the rest will work
The wide popularity of Carter’s moving and contagiously exciting
paintings demonstrates the enduring value of social awareness and
WBM november 2018