Self Portrait with Beard (oil, 13.75×10) by Robert Carter was a Self-Portrait finalist in the 24th Annual Art Competition. Carter is our February 2008 Artist of the Month.
Residence: Baden, Ontario
Start in Art: My father is an amazing artist, though he was never one by trade, and my three brothers are incredibly talented. So really, I began my journey into the world of art right from the get-go. Eventually I enrolled in the Sheridan College School of Art and Design in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, where I graduated in 2002. I’ve been a full-time freelance illustrator since then.
Inspiration for this Painting: I’d been growing a beard for a while and decided it was about time to remove the “disguise.” But I’d invested so much time it creating it that I wanted to document its existence. So I sat down and started to paint. I tried several different angles and ideas until this one interested me.
Working Process: I usually begin by doing a quick sketch of what I have in mind. After I get the composition worked out, I get reference photos of all the elements. I put it together and do a more detailed drawing, which then gets transferred onto gessoed board or canvas. When it comes to the painting, I don’t have a standard palette I use each time, although I never use black.
The majority of my time is spent on the rough stages of the process. Once I have that figured out, the final art comes quite quickly, usually in one to three days. This one I did in two days from sketch to final.
Why he creates art: I love it!… and hate it. It’s a relationship, one I’ve been in since I picked up a pencil and drew for the first time. At times you fight and struggle with each other, but mostly it’s a wonderful and loving experience; creating, discovering and growing together. I’d be devastated if we ever broke up.
Edited by Grace Dobush, assistant editor of Magazine.
Artists of the Month are chosen from our Annual Competition entrants. To learn more, visit our competition page.