For centuries, artists have banded together, helped each other out and traded ideas and skills. That is why it is always important to have a mentor or art hero who inspires new thoughts, new techniques and new ways of going about your routine. I, am no different than any other artist. I have my very own mentor and idol that I would love to tell you about. He brought to me new ideas about life, new techniques and gave me great career advice. While I was young when I knew him, he is never forgotten and he pops up quite frequently in my mind. And somehow, though he is no longer with us, I feel he is still teaching me to this day.
A very well known artist in El Paso, Texas, Fred Carter’s brightly colored paintings can be seen in many venues and museums. He is known for his bright use of color and very distinctive southern style paintings of old train depots, trains, and buildings. Here is a link to his bio and works:
Fred Carter Art
Here are some of his beautiful paintings:
Fred was an amazing person. I lived separately from him in Colorado and rarely got to meet with him. He was my uncle. (Great uncle technically) I was only starting to discover art when I got to meet with him to show him my work on a trip to Texas. He quickly pointed out some he liked and gave me my first lesson. Pricing art. The hardest thing for an artist to do. He taught me one valuable thing. To value my art. I picked a price of $20 and he bought it on the spot. He would have probably given me hundreds. He told me that pricing is difficult but never to under value yourself or sell yourself short. That is how others will begin to under value you.
Next, I became one of the only people in the world to see his art studio. This was his sanctuary and not even his family was allowed in. I was surprised to see it filled with books. There were not only art books but history books, anatomy books, pretty much a whole library of information that he used in reference for his paintings. And for life. He showed me his work area and while his studio was filled to the brim with all kinds of materials, it was clean and organized. That was another lesson. I am still working on this one 🙂
While we were in his studio, he gave me various advice on a career as an artist and techniques. He showed me a color chart he made for mixing the bright colors he used in his paintings. He also gave me a set of books that he used to teach himself illustration from the Art Career Academy. I am still reading through the first volume. (There are 3) He taught me technical things such as precision, and abstract ideas such as how the moon affects thought. In one small meeting, I learned so much. I still have flashbacks in rememberance of all I learned.
Although Fred is no longer with us, I still learn from him everyday and hope to one day change the world just as he has done before.