Thursday, July 24, 2014

Out Of Commission: Fantasy

Fantasy” by Jim Carpenter, Acrylic on Paper, 15" x 11"

Fantasy: It's All In Your Imagination

Prelude: "Fantasy" is here by matter of force. Internal force. The voice that comes from    within and says, "Just do what you do! And enjoy it. Forget about matching the sofa, forget about the commission, just paint."  "Fantasy" is all about listening to and honoring your own creative spirit. 

Which Comes First: Horse or Cart?

I generally don't do commission work, but a number of years ago I was asked to consider painting a floral using certain colors that would match a beautiful newly-decorated room in a client's home. I went out and bought a boatload of fresh flowers that I thought would match the colors of the sofa, brought them into my studio and set the stage for making a painting that would make the client happy. Did it work? 

No. It did not work. All the while I was painting that little critic was sitting on my shoulder grumbling away. Apparently neither the client nor the artist was going to be pleased with this painting. 

In retrospect, it's clear to me that I was doing battle with myself, still unsure of my own authority and my own voice. I can see now that I had set up a situation that stymied what I was striving for  authenticity in my own self-expression. 

I am pretty much a "cart follows the horse" kind of artist. I don't know what I am going to paint until I paint it. 

Oh, The Heck With It!

Fantasyis what I painted once I knocked the gremlin off my shoulder, let go of the restrictions of the commission, and just decided to paint, to make it up as I went along, to enjoy the paint, the process, and to explore. This painting was completed in 2009-2010. Though I have wanted to exhibit it, I have not really made a concerted effort to show it until today. I'm putting the horse before the cart. Here's the painting. I hope you like it. 


  1. This is very different from your other works, but it's very beautiful. I really like the bright colors, Jim.

    1. Hi Lucy! Thank you. Yes, this painting was painted at a time when I was known as "the flower painter." Actually, it is a transition piece - between the move from watercolor to acrylics. Believe it or not, all of my paintings now start out with really strong color - then I scrub it all out. Is that crazy or what? :-) Thanks for the comment. It's good to hear from you!

    2. Yes, I remember you telling me about your paintings start with strong colors. And yes, maybe a little crazy, but we love crazy!

  2. Jim I love how fluid this is. I always find myself caught up in details. Your bouquet is the slightest of suggestions. Each stroke is just a hint. But I can see each and every bloom, including the yellow rosebud up front. The movement in the background makes me think the vase is near a window... and a cool, calm breeze is wafting by.

    1. Hi Sheila! I find your words encouraging- it is important to me that the painting can engage the viewer. The yellow rosebud! Yes!

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