An Awkward Situation


February 27, 2019

Yesterday I found myself traveling down memory lane while in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City …

It was the summer of 1990. Alexis and Nicole were five and Mike was four. I decided to introduce the kids to the Museum of Natural History, remembering the amazing dioramas, the dinosaur skeletons and the collection of minerals, gem and geodes. The marble steps, wooden paneling, high ceilings and darkened rooms cast their spell upon us and we found ourselves traveling around the world visiting the habitats of animals they had only seen in books.

There they were; antelope, gorillas, buffalo, moose and elephants, to name only a few. We paused at each diorama allowing ourselves to be transported into the terrain. We could almost hear the animals breathe. The children loved seeing families of animals grazing together; mother, father and offspring.

Half an hour later I detected unease in all three children. Delight changed to concern. “How did these animals get here, Mum? How did they all die together?”

To no avail, We spent an hour trying to find someone in the museum who could answer that question. Just how were these animals acquired? The children’s father was a hunter. I salted the hides of deer to be tanned. We saved feathers of turkeys and pheasants to be transformed into art of one kind or another. The head of a deer hung above our television. They were familiar with the term taxidermy.

After a long conversation on a hallway bench, I thought that visiting the marine life dioramas might be a bit of a relief. It was. The spectacular whale hanging from the ceiling and the giant walrus and sea lions helped to ease their anguish.

The kids were mesmerized by the size of the walrus and its huge tusks. They appeared to have recovered from the trauma of realizing the mass killing of families in order to create the spectacle of natural history we’d come to observe. Being on alert for sensitivity alarms I glanced ahead at the dioramas we were approaching.

Five minutes later the four of us stood in front of the pearl divers, a look of horror on all three of their young faces. In unison they turned to me. I knelt down on the floor and wrapped my arms around them.

“Don’t worry … they aren’t stuffed. Those two men are plastic like the mannequins we see in clothing stores.”

I felt their relief as it poured out of their small bodies and into my arms. It was time to move on, time for a change of pace. We headed to the collection of sparkling geodes, minerals and gemstones. We’d experienced our quota of anxiety for the day.

It seems like only yesterday. How lucky I’ve been to be the mother of these three amazing children who have grown to be equally amazing adults.

Preparing for Wales


February 18, 2019

On occasion, timing is perfect. I leave for Wales in five weeks and I’ve ten weeks worth of “to do before I go” projects to complete. One is filing my taxes, another is sorting through and simplifying my multiple websites and blogs, and the third is making sure that I have everything prepared for the workshops I’ll be teaching in several schools in Swansea and the two I’ll be teaching at Chapel Cottage Studios in Abergavenny. While juggling between the last two, I realized Bizarre Horizons can be more than a think pad and a place to file away projects in process. This is a perfect place to post additional thoughts, images and sketches that might be helpful or inspiring to those who follow my current projects, travels and art.

I’ll be adding both photographs and sketches from the last three years of my trips to England and Wales in my “Projects” section of this blog.

While I’m in England, I’ll continue to post every now and then on Bizarre Horizons, adding to the portfolios listed on the Projects Page.

Walks Without Dad

Art, Gallery, Nature, Photography

March 16, 2016

While walking the four-mile loop that begins at my back door, I realized that in spite of the fact that my father can no longer join me on these lovely walks, he is always present.  It is my father who inspired me to run every morning with him, look more carefully at nature and explore my world through the lens of a camera.

Weaving the image using sharpened skills and decades of observing nature: plant, animal and mineral.

Architecture, Art, Bizarre Horizons Magazine, Geometry, Nature, Paintings

December 31, 2015

departure oil on paper ChrisCarterArtist 2004 900

A dozen years ago my mother passed, only hours before the year turned to 2004.  Before crossing over, she had opened the door to my morning visions and breathed new life into my art just as she had given me new life at birth.

Morning-Dance-oil-on-canvas-chris-carter-artist-orbs-series 900

Adolf Konrad, my lifelong mentor, died two weeks later on January 14, 2004.  For almost a year following their deaths, neither my mother nor Adolf cut the silver threads that connected me to to them.  My mother’s spirit filled my light-filled studio with the antics of a young girl while Adolf’s spirit stood by my side guiding my brush as it carried oil to the canvas.

In 2004 Nicole and I traveled together from Northern Portugal to Barcelona, Spain, an adventure inspired by the multitude of traveling adventures my mother and I had shared through my life and throughout the lives of my children.

Barcelona Oil Paintings chriscarterartist Spain 900

In March, the mountains and hills of Northern Portugal are covered in thorny bushes in full bloom, more brilliant than orange marigolds.  The eggs of the chickens are the same, rich color of orange due to a diet of corn and cabbage.

Two years prior to our trip I had discovered the architecture of Gaudi in a book beside the bed in the guest room where I slept during the weekend of a fundraising event where I sold my handmade notecards and giclée prints.

An hour after landing in Portugal a bomb exploded on a train in Madrid.

Victim Madrid Bombing March 11 2004 oil painting ChrisCarterArtist 900

As we drove across the spring landscape hugging the mountains of northern Spain, still barren from the winter chill and streaked with the otherwordly shadows seen in Dali’s paintings, black flags hung from the windows of every town, village and city, an entire country in mourning.

While in Barcelona, we discovered the art of Vieira da Silva (Portuguese-French Abstract Painter 1908-1992).  Upon our return, her work influenced a series of painting inspired by her ability to capture space and movement using only variations of white oil paint and lines.

Vieira da Silva inspired paintings ChrisCarterArtist 900

Sometimes it takes years, even a decade, for a planted seed to sprout and grow strong.  Perhaps it needs the right conditions, circumstances and nutrients.  Perhaps it needs the gardener to become more patient, while being less circumspect.

The year 2016 is my year of becoming a masterful gardener in more ways than one.  My garden will nurture body, mind and spirit.

thistle in bloom

Gallery of Geometric Wonders

Architecture, Art, Bizarre Horizons Magazine, Drawings, Gallery, Geometry, Nature, Paintings, Photography

April 18, 2015

Geometry is everywhere and it is beautiful.

Gallery of Muted Hues

Architecture, Art, Bizarre Horizons Magazine, Color Schemes, Drawings, Gallery, Geometry, Nature, Paintings, Photography

April 14, 2015

Palais Longchamp Grotto Sculptures, Marseille, France - June 2014

Gallery of Neutral Colors

Architecture, Art, Bizarre Horizons Magazine, Color Schemes, Drawings, Gallery, Geometry, Nature, Paintings, Photography

April 14, 2015

Reflections in Bus Window, Avignon, France - April 2009

Gallery of Reflections

Architecture, Art, Bizarre Horizons Magazine, Drawings, Gallery, Geometry, Paintings, Photography

April 14, 2015

Gallery of Trees

Art, Bizarre Horizons Magazine, Drawings, Gallery, Geometry, Nature, Paintings, Photography

April 14, 2015

Gallery of Stairways and Steps

Architecture, Art, Bizarre Horizons Magazine, Drawings, Gallery, Geometry, Photography

April 14, 2015

Abstract Street Scene, Vieux Port, Marseille, France 2014

Oh no! Another blog!

Art, Bizarre Horizons Magazine, Photography

April 13, 2015

Market day rubber boot dogs, L'Isle sur la Sorgue, France 2014

Market day rubber boot dogs, L’Isle sur la Sorgue, France 2014

Bizarre Horizons

My disorganized organization finally got to me, burying me under excessive paper, projects, information gathering and un-processed adventures.  My solution evolved from helping Brook start a blog for her botanical illustrations and research.  I was happy to have eliminated the extraneous blogs of my own (at least four) and have only my website and website blog to keep updated. So much for good intentions.  I have resurrected Bizarre Horizons. The intention has changed.

Originally (1984) it was meant to be a published magazine. In 2012 it was meant to be an online magazine.  Now it is my Think Pad.  It will help me to organize many of the aspects and interests and pursuits of my life by allowing me to create image galleries in multiple ways using the same images.  The wordpress theme, Bindery, combines pages, posts as well as projects … perfect for my scattered thoughts and diverse modes of expression.

Bizarre Horizons is designed to be a working tool for me.  I welcome you to follow my thoughts and my footsteps if you desire.  I’m often asked what I do when I wander the wilderness, cities, and rural communities. Now I can send curious folks to Bizarre Horizons and they can piece together the script of my days.


Pink Painted Curb - StreetArt, Mountain View, CA - Nov 2014

Gallery of StreetArt

Architecture, Art, Bizarre Horizons Magazine, Drawings, Gallery, Geometry, Paintings, Photography

April 13, 2015

Testing out a way to supplement the Projects information by displaying a gallery of images in an easily accessible manner.

Link to Street Art Projects Page