biography

chriscart

My latest public commission was a new painting for the New Lithgow Library in Augusta, Maine, Stories from the Mezzanine.

 

I recently completed a new 21 foot mural for Bath, Maine.  The theme is the “Spirit of Bath” which of course, wraps around the history of shipbuilding in this City of Ships.

In 2015 I finished mural for the new Kennebec County Courthouse being built in Maine’s capital at Augusta.  This piece is 14 x 30 feet, a maritime history of the Kennebec River with people, ships, history…lots of drama.  Painting doesn’t get any better.

Over the years I have created many murals.   Working big is having the sky for your canvas.  However, I have also worked very small, illustrating over 30 books and book covers, painting miniatures, carving block prints, drawing etchings and monotypes.  I love making things.

As a young ‘starving artist’, I started out as a sculptor in Guadalajara, Mexico, carving masks, and modeling figures in clay.  But I found the lure of the brush too much to resist.  And the best advice given to me back then by an old artist was, “Draw, draw, draw.”  I have never stopped.

With a pencil or brush in hand I can create worlds within the canvas frame.  The figures are my players and the canvas my stage.   However, I am no fantasy artist.   Reality creates the spark.  My eyes open, I find things that need to be in my paintings.

I have exhibited in galleries and exhibitions in Maine, Seattle and New York City.  As an illustrator I have worked for Hearst Books, William Morrow, Greenwillow Books, Random House and DownEast Books of Maine.  And creating sets and playbills for theater is a thrill.

the-muse

Born in Maine, I can claim that much coveted ‘native’ status but in truth I lived away a lot.  My bones are solid New England stock but my blood carries the dusts of years in Mexico…and a bit of rust from the Pacific Northwest as well.

Back in my bohemian days I sold paintings at street shows and at the Pike Place Market in Seattle.  Today I enjoy the luxury of having my work in a great gallery, but there is an excitement, a rawness to selling art on the street.

Painting, for me, is telling stories in pigment. 

Narrative art is alive and well and so are the painters.