studio notes



The Road Works show opened on July 24th and the opening drew a very large crowd to the temporary ART WORKS Gallery in Basalt.  I had 18 images framed and hanging with another 10 prints in a portfolio for additional viewing.  Around 200 art heads showed up and the response to the ROAD SHOW was overwhelmingly positive.

The Images capture the essence of the drive from the Roaring Fork Valley  here in Colorado to Santa Monica in Southern California. I have been making this trip for over 30 some years by car and over the past three years have been documentingthe trip on the iPhone. Never stopping to take a postcard shot but rather shooting from the moving vehicle. I wanted to use a simple camera and take advantage of the element of surprise.


Being a Painter, I wanted to capture the images from the “painters eye” and to shoot with as much spontanaity as possible. I was not concerned with fine grain or sharp focus although the current iPhone camera is such an amazing instument that the resolution and detail in many of the photographs is truely amazing.

The application I use on the iPhone is the Hipstamatic camera and I use two filters..the John-s “Lens” and the Kodot “film” filter. That combonation gives the ragged  darkroom  edge and a cool greenish tone with enhanced contrast.

We printed a limited edition book cataloging the show and there is a link here that will allow you to view all the images in the book format.

The show will hang until the 19th of August and on the 20th I will open a show of new paintings …Art Works Part 2…also done over the past three years. Once again the focus of this next show will be an aspect of nature that has fascinated me for a long time and thet is Birds and they’re habitat. I have taken certain liberties with the subject matter and the environment and so the color of these paintings is somewhat more fantastic than my real experience with the subjects. There is also a continuing concentration on the night sky that has been pretty consistant thru my paintings for the past decade or so.

That show will run into September and then we will do a final Art Works Part 3

That will involve  a few local artists from Colorado. More on that later.

Have a look at the book….

Go this site and click on  PREVIEW THE BOOK

Then click the FULL SCREEN icon at the lower right.

You can then scan the full book….

And here is the Review of the opening night from the Aspen Times 7/26


The Aspen Times | Friday, July 26, 2013 | B3


Dick Carter’s  Pop-UP    Happening

There they were. All back together, once again.

There was Andy Stone standing by the back door, looking trim and slightly European after a month in Siena for the Palio. Harry Teague towered, as always, above the crowd. That white head of hair could only belong to former Aspen Mayor Bill Stirling who ar- rived with Barbara Bussell who has brought him joy and happiness low these last few years. The always lovely Elizabeth Boyles stood smiling, encouraging everyone and anyone who wandered past while her husband Edgar searched the room for some Lebanese wine.

In front, illuminated by the bright light in the front window, was Burnie Arndt with a face tinged as al- ways by the sun. Burnie always looks like he just came back from a 14er after a day hike. Tim Hagman was there in a crisply ironed Patagonia fishing shirt. Who’s ironing Tim’s clothes these days? The Kitchen-Ko- vacs represented and sculptor Sam Harvey revealed he was halfway through Walter Isaacson’s “Benjamin Franklin: An American Life.” Then there was John Colson who always seems so much lighter than his frequently outraged column would suggest. And Mi- chael Lipkin chatted up the art as he gazed at a photo of the western landscape that was just over Dee Dee Brinkman’s forever soft shoulder.

This was an Aspen crowd if there ever was one with names and faces that have been a part of the com- munity, some for forty years or more. And yet, this gathering of the tribe took place last night downval- ley in the Pop-Up Art Gallery that Richard Carter

has opened on Midland Avenue in Basalt. In fact, the majority of these folks now live downvalley, having left the place they came to, Aspen, when they first left the place they came from.

Richard Carter, like so many of these wonderful and creative folks, came to Aspen when the streets were still dirt, you could find an open hardware store and Dick Kienest was the law.

The irony of the scene was that Dick’s work is a photo series called “Road Works.” It is an extraordi- nary collection of pictures that Dick took using an iPhone camera on his road trips between Los Angeles and Aspen over the last few years. The photos, taken with the eye of the painter that he is, were shot as he drove by the landmarks of the interstate at high rates of speed.

I frequently, I’ll guess a hundred or so times, have made the drive and as I looked at the photos I not only recognized the scenery, I felt the air and the dim grogginess that comes with the eighteen-hour drive. I remember my excitement when leaving LA. at dawn and rushing to get to Aspen. And I remember the let- down when leaving.

The opening of the show was a great gathering of many great friends who have influenced this valley. But the point is that these were new works by Dick that exuded new ideas and creativity. Everyone in the room is forever young and you could tell that the choices they made, all of them, to come here were good ones.

Stop by the gallery for a look at “Road Works.

“Road Works,” until Aug.28, at Art Works, 174 Mid- land Ave. in Basalt.

‘Road Works’ Opening, Wed July 24


July 17 – August 28 2013

Wednesday, July 24 from 6 – 9pm

a contemporary gallery

174 Midland Ave, Basalt

10% of proceeds from opening’s sales will be donated to Wyly Community Art Center

Driving between Colorado and Los Angeles as I often do, one cannot help but be awestruck by the geography and the atmosphere of the West. Cruising at 85 mph on a black ribbon over mountains, plunging into gorges, thru deserts, skirting farmland, passing  towns small and large…in places the road extends straight ahead for seemingly endless miles. Totally mythic.

And above it all the ever-changing magnificent sky… Pure cobalt blending into white hot at the horizon, massing storm clouds blending into inky black, towering thunderheads, flashes of lighting, screaming rain and hail, blinding blizzards, ferocious sandstorms, infinite stars, blazing technicolor sunsets and it’s constantly changing from mile to mile. The Dutch have nothing on the American West when it comes to the sky.

About three years ago I started documenting my drives with the iPhone camera using a very simple pair of filters. I wanted these photographs to be from the hand and eye of a painter so I needed a rudimentary but adequate camera. At the time the iPhone camera was pretty rudimentary …safe to say it has evolved very rapidly in the past 3 years into something very remarkable. I am still going with it.

These images reflect the bones of the trip that I have traveled many, many times. And more importantly, this series is  formally consistent with all my work over the past several decades, in that there is a very recognizable emphasis on the sky and the horizon and what’s below.

Whether painting the night sky , or Icebergs or lightning strikes or fire, or birds… the sky above seems to be a big part of the story in all my work. And driving thru Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California,  the incredible landscape gets some serious competition for the eye from the atmosphere.

This group of photographs is a  record of all these elements over a relatively short period of 3 years. They are  selections from my visual diary chronicaling  the beauty and inspiration I encounter on every one of these trips. I love the drive.

And I AM driving when shooting. I make it a point  to not stop to shoot. I want the car moving, often very fast,  when shooting. I want that spontaneity and don’t want to pull over for the “postcard shot”. Its part of the deal.

Richard Carter 2013



One of the current themes I am working on concerns my interest in birds…Birds of all kinds, but I have a particular interest in Crows and Ravens. They are fascinating creatures..very smart and possess a lot of attitude.

I have done a number of paintings and drawings of crows and they are usually rendered in red against the night sky or a stormy atmosphere…Some of these works are quite large on Arches paper…60”-72” ….and they are sometimes just pinned or stapled to the wall. The reason for showing them in red as opposed to their normal, very handsome bluish-black, is strickly and abstract decision to highlight them agaist a dark ground. They look good red…they seem even more mysterious then they normally are.

There are a number of images on the site of this work and I would be interested in any comments.

On The Road…


I have been shooting images of the Road between Aspen and Los Angeles for the past several years in an effort to put together a series that defines that trip in an informing and artistic manner.

I chose to shoot this series since early 2011 on the iPhone using a couple of specific filters with the Hipstamatic camera App. I chose this camera and filters because I wanted a rougher looking image than the more refined images I would get with a standard camera. I am a painter and I wanted these photographs to have the look of paintings.

From hundreds of images filed over some 40 trips back and forth to Santa Monica I have finally edited the group and just recently printed 25 of the images.

So I was fine with the grainier, more atmospheric look of these prints. It is exactly the look I want…horrors say the purist! Think painting.

I have printed most of these Archival Digital Prints on Epson Luster Paper and they measure 36”x36”, with a few at 24”x24”.

As I put the group together and realised,again how important weather and an active sky can be to making these images “work”, I began to recognize the fact that all my work in all media have one overriding element in common and that is they all have a very important focus on the sky. Atmoshere has always been a big source of inspiration for me and of course that has translated into an ongoing ,sometimes unconscious attention to the sky, night, day, at the edges, whenever.

Many are on the Web site and we hope to do a show of this group in the near future.

I would love to hear your comments.

Getting Started


This will be my first entry on the Blog on the newly redesigned Web site and I will be adding entries periodically that revolve around my artmaking and  the various influence on that artmaking and general goings-on. Comments will always be welcome.

Special thanks to Kelly Aford for the design of the site and to Jennifer Swanson for the actual construction of thel site. Well done… Thank you very much..

Theres a lot going on in the studio right now and I am working on several concurrent series of work that at times seem all over the place to me but ,hey…I have to go with the flow. Its drawing,  painting and camera work… and all of it seems to have a common thread …and that is my ongoing interest in the natural world and in the natural sciences.

Those two interests drive every thing I produce as an artist.

This site covers my work since the mid ‘90s and you will see those interests manfested in the work whether in the geometric work, the Night Skies, the Icebergs, the LIghtning, or the Fire series or in the more recent work concerning birds and thier  habitat.

So please check in once in a while and see whats going on down here in the Basalt Studio…and elswhere

So if you are at the Music Festival maybe you have come to the site because of the Ad I placed in the 2013 Summer Program?  Would be great to know if thats a fact.