Contemporary realism landscape painting
Richie Carter, "Waiting," 2017, Oil on linen, 24 x 18 in., Private collection

There is a lot of superb contemporary realism being made these days; this article by Allison Malafronte shines light on a gifted individual:

Contemporary Realism by Richie Carter

RICHIE CARTER ( was born in 1988, yet this Montana-based painter has already assimilated decades’ worth of education into his professional practice. While earning his B.F.A. from the University of Montana at Missoula, which focused on conveying concepts through various media, Carter simultaneously developed a love of realism through drawing and painting from life.

After graduating, he sharpened his technical skills further by taking numerous workshops, and he continues to draw inspiration through frequent travel abroad — the observations and experiences of which become fodder for future paintings.

Discussing the conceptual aspects of his work — notable for being at once simple and striking — Carter says he sees himself as a receiver of visions. Once he sees the scene or subject, he then composes each element with much care. “It’s as if I see the painting before it’s actually painted,” he shares. “All of the outside inspiration, influences, and ideas that I continually absorb throughout my life coalesce with my own thoughts, emotions, and visions, and are eventually realized through these paintings.”

One such painting that Carter saw before it was created was the scene in “Waiting.” On a visit to Italy in the autumn of 2017, Carter awoke early to walk the streets of Florence before they became over-crowded. Gazing past the statues near the Uffizi Gallery, Carter observed a stunning moment of fleeting light. “I immediately saw a painting,” the artist recalls.  “It was as if it were downloaded into me, and I had to paint it.” The addition of the silhouetted figure creates an entry point for the viewer, allowing us to stand alongside Carter in this beautiful vision of stillness and solitude.

Seeing traditional techniques and subject matter through contemporary eyes is a recurring theme in Carter’s work. One of his goals is to create dialogue between “the rich tradition of realism and the contemporary reality of our times.”

He also realizes that his paintings resonate with people on a level beyond the solely visual: “I work from an emotional place, and people seem to respond to my paintings on an emotional level as well,” he says. “Knowing my paintings help in some way to make authentic human connections is more than I could ask for as an artist.”

This article was originally published in Fine Art Connoisseur magazine (March/April 2018).

Related Article > Attention, Artists Wanting to Create Better Realistic Paintings [read here]

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