I was meandering through Carl’s website and of course came across more beautiful images. What I think we all have to remember is that the art comes from within us and Carl demonstrates a consistency across mediums. Not only is he a watercolor painter but he also does oil painting and pastels as well.
I lifted this from his website (thanks Carl):
For as long as I can remember I have thrived on the stuff of life and imagination, what is seen and accepted and what can be envisioned and embraced each day. I have maintained a keen interest in how things are made and how things work. I grew up on the northwest edge of Houston, Texas and, for a while, experienced adventures in what appeared to be ?the country life’. The expanding city ultimately overtook our quiet neighborhood and I embarked on even more discoveries under the heading ?big city life’. Additionally, frequent family jaunts down to the Gulf coast brought me a treasure of inspiration and knowledge about the sea, wildlife, the beauty of the outdoors, the study of clouds and weather and the raw power of nature.
Whatever my location, I spent most days observing the workings of everyday life, gathering in a huge, experiential and visual ?file’ of systems, form and color from all the action around me. And I spent countless hours inside my mind, a determined, yet innocent, interior world where I processed snipits of the environment of family, people, activities, places and noise. In my own way I cataloged constant, incoming information into an atmosphere of quiet and order.
I think this prolonged processing and an emerging sense of self, placed the creative realm squarely on my path. Early forays into self-expression produced feelings of excitement, inspiration and energy. In my eyes, I had limited, yet promising results. Everything was up for consideration in the laboratory of my world: building rockets, boats, tree houses, simple furniture; experimenting with electronic contraptions, communications devices and chemical reactions; carving, drawing, color mixing and painting.
With innate inquisitiveness and the influence of family, friends and teachers, I eventually came upon the works of Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, John Pike and, especially, John Singer Sargent. A door opened to a banquet of color and expression. And through brief workshops with contemporary watercolorists, notably Charles Reid, a renewed kinship continued with the concepts of color temperature, spontaneity and just plain fun.
I became aware of still another facet of art through reproductions in newspapers, magazines and books. At a time when these publications were operating in their final years of employing hands-on, innovative, freelance artists to relate stories and sell products, I found the fascinating world of illustration. I was attracted to particular presentation styles and became familiar with the work of several, successful illustrators. I delved into the creations of earlier illustrators and held lots of them in high regard for their conceptual grit and wit. Through their work, they demonstrated determination and a working knowledge of concise storytelling, daring, drama, action, composition, drawing, color and anatomy. And, to my delight, I learned that several of my favorite fine artists began with disciplined backgrounds in the commercial illustration arena.
Engaging the analytical side of my mind, interested in organization and structure, I began the exploration of another design domain. With an education and degree in architecture, I recognized and improved the thinking behind my earlier design/build tendencies. I gained knowledge of history, civilization, cities, living and working environments, architects, planning, broad thinking, philosophy, discipline, order, scale, materials, texture, 3D design and drawing. I became acutely aware of the total picture: humanity’s march through chaos, systems and structures connected to and intertwined with the world of art and ingenuity. Nothing exists in isolation: architecture is living, breathing sculpture. Art is alive and well in everything we see, do and imagine.
And so this fusion of interests and experiences presented me with a unique calling. That calling came with complex and somewhat frustrating specifications. I launched my self-employed, creative ship on an ocean of possibilities with a course set for fine art and architectural illustration. To navigate a route in these waters took tremendous amounts of inspiration, determination and energy, which didn’t always come easily. And I faced frustration from trying to do two things well, living in career parameters described and expected by others and squeezing more hours out of a 24-hour day than drops of rain out of a thunderstorm. Burning the candle at both ends got me plenty of new work and doing a project well while juggling brought me satisfaction, but sleep deprivation and angst was not a quality way to go for long stretches of days, months and years. Were these conditions the nature of the business?
Even during these times, I still grasped the remnants of possibilities, believed in seeing beyond the ordinary and aggressively dreamed outside the box. I mid-course corrected often, pulled rabbits out of hats and tried to ignore the crosscurrents as I sailed on through days (and nights). Things were tough but things were looking up. With every new illustration concept and technique I attempted and delivered, I gained a circle of clients who witnessed my dedication and believed in my judgment. With a reputation for winning presentations, I rose to the top of the architectural illustration field. To this day, I enjoy the distinction of working with outstanding architectural firms on projects around the world.
Along with a heavy schedule of illustration assignments and deadlines, I intentionally painted watercolors for the life of my art soul and entered local, regional and national juried exhibitions. Each entry was an opportunity to compete with the best, to grow as an artist and to clearly, genuinely and forcefully communicate personal emotion and observation. The results were encouraging. My work was juried into national exhibitions, won awards and traveled to national venues. I rose to the top of the fine art field and achieved signature membership into the American Watercolor Society (New York), the National Watercolor Society (California) and the Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Society (Colorado).
Publishers sent invitations to write articles and share my creative process and artwork in national magazines and books. Soon after, came invitations from an abundance of painting organizations to teach artists the soul-satisfying ways of watercolor. As a result, I discovered how much I enjoyed writing and teaching. An unbelievable blessing opened to me as I found myself demonstrating for and sharing with artists across the country and in foreign lands. I experienced the great pleasure of meeting wonderful people through my workshops and encouraging them in their own creative adventures. To this day, I enjoy a national reputation for dynamic design and energetic color in my paintings.
CHOOSING THE PATH
I believe and I’ve decided. I believe that there are many paths to the sanctuary of creativity. Employing sufficient time to record life and study history, to be open to quality and growth, to test old and new concepts and, unfortunately, on past occasions, to attempt to fit myself into the expectations of others, I have come to believe that I must wholeheartedly follow my own creative path. I believe that the path that I chose (or chose me) is custom made and materializes in front of me with amazing timing. I believe I have the responsibility along this path to fully and fearlessly engage and participate in the blessings of my creative potential. I believe that art, its definition, artists and the process of art, resides comfortably on a vast creative spectrum. I believe that life and creativity are offered to all of us to be enjoyed and celebrated.
I’ve decided that accepting the fact that creative energy is prone to fluctuation in this artist life, is the reasonable thing to do. I’ve decided creative spirits do pretty well inside these human bodies under earthly conditions and temporal limits. We must keep in mind that complex, creative spirits, accustomed to operating thousands of celestial switches, must operate within a human, two-button, Etch-a-Sketch system. I’ve decided to add beauty and peace to the world, to kick up my awareness of the present, to import fearless living, to appreciate simplicity and to foster ease and grace.
Happy living and creating.