Andrée B. Carter
The rational and the intuitive are connected in my work. Personal translations of fleeting moments of reality are combined with shapes and colors of the indescribable taken from my imagination. Each individual painting is connected to feelings associated with experience, memory, and desire. They are unplanned, but through the process of their creation, forms and shapes are revealed, and if successful, form a unified whole. By weaving colors, patterns, and textures together, I feel as if I am instrumental in a healing, unifying process, not only for myself, but for those who experience the work.
Working serially, there are several motifs that are repeated. These motifs serve as the foundation for the work and enable the painting’s “architecture” to adhere and activate the work’s surface. The coupling of grids, both painted and applied, serve as an example of this and also derive from the personal. The black-and-white tile floor in the kitchen and dining room of my Italian grandparents’ sugar cane plantation in Louisiana created a sense of order in contrast to the chaos of the large family dinners, abundance of food, and loud conversations that took place. The grid of the needlepoint canvas that is sutured into the painting, is an homage to my Emergency Room physician husband, who died too young, and an acknowledgement of the historic antecedents of women who expressed their creativity through craft needlepoint and quilts, and not with paint. As a woman of the baby boom generation, I had my own struggles to define myself as a professional artist. Through tragedy and loss, I was thrust into expressing strong emotions and ideas uniquely with paint, color, textures, collaged papers and the use of my handicraft, needlepoint.
The patterns and topographies created by mark-making with paint are in synchronicity with the textural surfaces of the other materials. Together, they form a panoply of architectural details, Mardi Gras costumes, and the rhythms of music tied to memories of New Orleans, and art, people and places of my travels. Wrought iron, latticework with sweet smelling vines, and the arabesque movements in the French and Italian lace seep from my subconscious and into the work.