For the last two months I've been taking a printing class at Santa Monica College from a great guy and very talented artist, Carleton Christy. Although I've designed prints for the last six years, I'd never actually pulled a print until this class, so I want to thank Carleton not only for being such a knowledgeable teacher, but also for being so kind and patient. Luckily I asked if I could see his work, because it's just beautiful! Since gray and white is my favorite color combo at the moment, his subtly gorgeous work really grabbed me.
I'm very happy to share this interview with Carleton and give you a peek at some of his work. I just love that there's so much great art happening here in Los Angeles!
mj: Is your medium mostly intaglio printing? Could you explain how you got interested in this particular niche and why it appeals to you?
carleton: Actually, drawing and mixed media is what I do most. I work an intaglio print in only every once in a while. Drawing appeals because it is direct and I feel like I can control it.
mj: Is the gray color palete that seems to be in a lot of your work a continuing or continuous theme?
carleton: The gray palette isn't born from any particular theme. I merely chose simple tools that are regularly used by draftsman (architectural, engineering) to make drawings that are hopefully subtle and unexpectedly warm.
mj: Would you mind talking a little about who you learned printing from, who inspires you as an artist, and what you're thinking about, if anything, when you're working.
I learned printmaking from Wayne Kimball who is a lithographer. His prints are often made with more than ten runs (very intense). I've taken certain drawing courses here and there but one of the reasons I like my drawings--and my way of making them--is that I don't make mock ups or sketches at all. I was glad to realize after making a number of drawings that I didn't make then according to any lessons I had in those classes. My methods really were my own.
mj: What are your favorite pieces that you've done?
carleton: My drawing called Gettysburg is a favorite because it while it took a long time to make, I still think it has a freshness to it when I look at it.
mj: Are you working on anything new?
Carleton: In addition to more work along the same lines as some of my recent drawings and mixed-media things, some watercolor painting on a polyurethane paper.
mj: Where have you shown your work, do you have any current shows or any new ones coming up?
Carleton: I've been in a few good shows lately; The Office, SCA Gallery in Pomona, Laguna Art Museum. Coming up, Angels Gate in San Pedro.
Here's A FEW THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT CARLETON CHRISTY:
A) THE FOUR MOST STYLISH PEOPLE THAT INFLUENCED ME:
This is hard to answer but I'll give it my best.
1 David Reed
2 Phil Jackson (no influence here)
3 Um. Prince. Yeah. For sure, Prince. (No influence)
4 Mark Ruwedel (A little influence)
B) FOUR WAYS THAT STYLE MAKES THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE
1 It's part of what I consider
2 an important factor of what education should
3 help individuals do:
4 Do what they should do really well.
C) FOUR OF MY FAVORITE [and not favorite] DESIGNERS
1 Well, I walked right by Tom Ford once on Robertson, and when I realized how excited everybody else was that he was there--those who actually knew who he is--I was excited too. So I'd say him.
2 Could somebody please tell Kenneth Cole to stop? There are more KC clothes at Ross than in his own stores.
3 I've always liked Seymour Chwast/Milton Glaser
4 Whoever designed the way of scrolling and "the pinch" with the iPhone.
D) FOUR JOBS I HAVE HAD IN MY LIFE:
1 Architectural illustrator
3 Bus boy
4 I had a one-day stint as a lawn aerator.
E) FOUR MOVIES I WOULD WATCH OVER AND OVER (AND DO):
1 Raising Arizona
2 Stop Making Sense
3 Snoopy, Come Home
4 Annie Hall
F) FOUR PLACES WHERE I HAVE LIVED:
1 Chino, CA
2 Long Beach, CA
3 Orem, UT
4 Eagle Rock, CA
G) FOUR TV SHOWS I LOVE TO WATCH:
1 Cheers (strong liking)
2 World Cup soccer (love)
3 Conan (dying love)
4 MASH (still a strong liking)
H) FOUR PLACES I HAVE BEEN ON VACATION IN THE LAST FOUR YEARS:
2 Arches National Park
3 Laguna Beach--my family came and we stayed there one night so it counts.
4 Florence, IT (study abroad but I'm counting it, too)
I) FOUR WEBSITES I VISIT DAILY (Or at least Weekly):
1 Semi-anually: errol morris.com
2 monthly: Hammer museum
3 weekly: Craigslist
4 Daily: just gmail
J) FOUR OF MY FAVORITE FOODS:
1 Garlic Chicken Bechamel crepes
2 Beef Wellington
3 Thai green curry with tofu
4 Fish and chips at Claim Jumper
K) FOUR PLACES I WOULD RATHER BE RIGHT NOW:
1 These are places I want ot visit: Mt. Whitney (to climb)
2 Dubai (to buy an island)
3 Washington DC (I've never been)
4 Milan (To see some architecture by Daniel Libeskind. Oh, I could put him as a favorite designer.)