Robert Carter grew up in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, on the edge of a valley covered with natural woods and streams. This environment fostered a love of natural beauty, which is reflected in the art he creates today. Although early interests included music, art, and science, it was the latter he pursued as a career, receiving his B.A. from the College of Wooster and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. Following receipt of his doctorate in 1970, Bob accepted a faculty appointment in the Chemistry Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he continues today as Chair of the department.
Robert Carter’s art consists of landscapes and seascapes, based on scenes from Cape Cod and throughout New England. His style is informed by the art of the great Eastern American Impressionists, including Emile Gruppé, Edward Redfield, Jay Hall Connaway, and Paul Strisik. Much of his training was gained as a regular workshop student of Copley Master Artist William Maloney on Cape Cod, whom he regards as his principal artistic mentor He has also studied with contemporary impressionists Don Stone, N.A., and Stapleton Kearns.
In keeping with his mentors’ examples, Bob uses a limited palette composed of the primary colors (red, blue, yellow), orange (a convenience color), and white. He uses no tube purples or greens, preferring to mix these from primaries. His only earth pigment is yellow ochre. As with the original French impressionists, such as Monet and his followers, Bob uses no black, and colors are laid down with minimal mixing. Brush stoke assumes equal importance with composition, value, and color in rendering the visual and emotional content of the image. Bob is careful to use only those materials and practices that will result in works of maximum longevity. For example, he only uses the highest quality light-fast pigments on Belgian oil primed linen, which he stretches or mounts on board himself. Most works are executed alla prima (in one session) to retain spontaneity and to produce the strongest possible paint film. While he likes to work en plein air, painting outdoors directly from the subject, many of his works are created in the studio from his previous direct sketches, reference photographs he has taken, or completely from memory. He uses a similar approach with his works in oil pastel.
Robert Carter is a juried Artist Member of the Cape Cod Art Association, and his works often can be seen at the Association’s shows at the gallery on route 6A in Barnstable. He is also an artist member of the Provincetown Art Association, the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, and Oil Painters of America. His work is currently represented by Gallery Artrio in Hyannis, MA.