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Check out Richie Carter’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Richie Carter.

Richie, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I was first enthralled with art when I was about four or five when I would watch my uncle draw dinosaurs for me. I actually remember at that point saying to myself that I wanted to be an artist. Little did I know, what all this would entail. I continued my interest in art through high school and started to understand more and more that I was interested in traditional art. I was never the greatest at drawing directly out of my head but was able to look at things and people and draw them. This leads perfectly into oil painting.

As it came time to graduate and go onto college, I was torn with the decision of following my passion or settling for something that was more certain as far as a career goes. I was thinking about architecture or some sort of engineering. Upon receiving a full ride scholarship for art at the end of my senior year of high school, I took full advantage and started at Point Loma, a small private college in San Diego. After a semester, I transferred to The University of Montana in Missoula and started the painting program to obtain my Bachelors of Fine Art in painting. My school was very focused on a conceptual Post-Modern approach of teaching. There was little focus on teaching fundamentals in traditional art making, and so I continued to self teach on how to draw and paint. I spent my junior year abroad in northern France. This paired with a couple previous trips to Europe has played a key role in the trajectory of my work.

As I fell out into the real world, I wasn’t sure how or where to start making a career out of painting. I was fortunate enough to take a series of three workshops over a two year period from Utah based painter John Poon. He put language to all that I had been trying to learn on my own and in a short time my work jumped significantly in technique and understanding of picture making. I began showing work locally in Montana and started to sell despite my disbelief. I was fortunate enough to begin painting full time about five years ago and started participating in group shows with more and more success. Over the past year, I have been featured in four major art publications and still have no idea how it’s all happened to me. As a young emerging artist, I’ve had so much support from many established painters that I look up to. I keep telling myself the most important thing for me as a professional artist is to keep the painting itself as my number one priority and just paint. When in doubt, paint.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I am a traditional oil painter focused on realism. My paintings vary in subject matter from landscape (my first love being from Montana) to still-life, cityscapes, and figurative. More and more, my career consists of traveling about the world with my homemade plein air paint box vigorously taking paint notes of my surroundings. I bring these back to my Montana based studio to work on a larger scale, more thought out paintings. I am inspired by the romantic notions of past artists who have done the same, traveling about, meeting new people and places that all somehow find there way into the art. I love the idea of using traditional methods of painting and blending it with elements that speak of our contemporary world. This could be a pair of distant headlights or a telephone pole, or perhaps just a composition that pushes the norm. I have been told that my work holds a certain emotional charge. People often walk away feeling a very similar thing as what I was experiencing while painting the piece.

How can artists connect with other artists?
The act of painting is indeed a solitary act in and of itself, however, I believe it is absolutely essential that artists network with each other and find relationships in the greater art world. Nowadays it is incredibly easy for artists to connect from across the globe on social media. I would encourage first and foremost that any artist finds this network in their own local community. Pursuing art as a career is difficult enough and there is no need to re-invent the wheel. Other artists can help you not only critique your own work but help with everything behind the scenes like networking, framing, how to find galleries, photographing work, building websites, you name it. There is plenty of help out there so go find it! Not to mention it’s nice to be able to geek out with someone who speaks your same language.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
My work is available through three different galleries in Montana. Montana Gallery in Billings, MT, Frame of Reference Fine Art in Whitefish, MT, and Persimmon Gallery in Big Fork, MT. Each has an online presence for viewing and purchasing work. I also have a website at richiecarterfinearts@gmail.com and frequently update my social media accounts, mainly Instagram as richiecarterfinearts. I post nearly all my new work here and is perhaps the best way to view the newest paintings.

I have two major shows coming up this Spring. The 1st is Western Art Week in Great Falls, MT where I will be exhibiting a body of new landscapes with Frame of Reference Fine Art gallery room at the Herritage Inn. The show runs March 20-24. The 2nd is a solo show opening May, 2, 2019 at Montana Gallery in Billings Montana. The show is titled “My West” and is a group of work spanning 4 years that tells my own personal story of growing up in the West.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Lee Kozlowski at Digital Planet in Kalispell Montana, Ty Wycoff

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