"Painting, for me, is telling stories in pigment. You have to put your passions where your brush is or why would you care, or anyone else?"
A versatile artist, Christopher Cart has painted murals, countless watercolors and oils, portraits in both oils and watercolors and has illustrated many books and periodicals. His professional career encompasses virtually every aspect of the visual fine arts.
Chris Cart draws his inspiration from “the things I care about-real people enjoying themselves, doing the things they like to do.” The paintings featured at Harbor Square are filled with the movement of dance, an activity Cart and his life partner, Jen (also a painter) enjoy.The sensuousness of the human body moving to music, the play of color and light on dancing figures create a scene that Cart describes as “partway between reality and the way it ought to be.” Dance also features prominently in one of Cart’s community projects, a huge 40-foot outdoor mural in Brunswick that was unveiled early in 2008. The mural, celebrating the music and dance of Brunswick and its sister city in Cuba, features 22 almost-life-sized figures of dancers and musicians bridging New England contra dance and Cuban salsa traditions. Another major project he is currently working on, is a 40 by 6 foot painting for the new Kennebec County Courthouse being built in Maine’s capital at Augusta. It is a rendition of the maritime history of the Kennebec River.
Cart, who lives in Hallowell and was born in Farmington, has known since childhood that he wanted to be an artist. He studied art at Coker College in South Carolina and at the University of Washington, Seattle. While a student, he found himself drawn to art history, where he studied the techniques of a wide variety of painters. “I learned more in the art history classes than in the studio classes,” he says. Some of his inspirations include Andrew Wyeth, who Cart describes as “the launching pad” for his painting skills. “He was a living artist who had skills that I could aspire to,” Cart says. Other artists whose work has informed and inspired Cart’s painting include Thomas Hart Benton, Degas, Rubens, and Rembrandt.
Read an interesting step-by-step account of Chris’ artistic process for the composition of his painting ‘Summer Entourage’ here: