Keats called autumn a "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness," and the work of our Citra Solv Artist of the Month, Jim Carpenter, exemplifies that poetry. Jim cites as his inspiration, theatre, dance, spirituality, and family, and his haunting and lovely art conveys his love of all those aspects of his creative life.
Jim was recently awarded for his work by the International Society of Acrylic Painters (ISAP), an organization Citra Solv is pleased to sponsor in honor of our creative and highly talented artists.
I paint because I am in love with the creative process. The final product may indeed teach me something about myself, about how I view the world, or about what I care deeply about, and as such each painting stands as a statement intended for me and hopefully is one that will resonate with others. But the great satisfaction, the great fascination for me, is the “getting there,” going from a blank canvas to the finished product. Although I am always present in the doing, I am still surprised by the way a painting ends.
I especially like the experience of starting with just a few things – 3 tubes of paint and a thought or some music for inspiration – and seeing what can come of it. I put paint down and lift it off, I scrape, I carve text into it, I spray it with water and rubbing alcohol, add more paint, I make marks with my fingers, with paper towels and with just about anything interesting that I can get my hands on. In other words, I get into the painting. This is my “start” and from the chaos that results I “find” the painting by adding layers and by lifting layers, by adding lines and by subtracting lines. It is this repetitive intuitive give-and-take process that thrills me, in part because it is so much fun and in part because ultimately it results in a painting. I know that a work is done when I realize that if I add or subtract one more thing it will be the start of a new painting. That’s when I sign it.
Various themes and imagery tend to run throughout my work: the theatre, dance, spirituality, and family. My 12 years of parochial school education, my background in dance, my studies of the theatre and my career as a theatre teacher, my practice of Cosmos Qigong, and my deep love for my family all inform that imagery. I paint to explore and to celebrate these things that matter to me. It is my hope that I paint them in a way that reminds the viewers of something that matters deeply to them.
All images are copyright by the artsit. Please do not use without permission.