Carlton is a true Plein Air artist who creates his paintings from his mobile studio—a
minivan—using the steering wheel as his easel. Working quickly, he captures the
moment, with strokes that are confidently applied. The results are fresh, bold
impressionistic canvases. Carlton’s use of colors appears extreme and brilliant, bordering
on surreal upon close inspection. They are strong and very intense without being
unrealistic. “I tend towards realism, then tweak up the colors,” said Carlton.
Carlton has always been an artist, pursuing his talent in an unconventional way since
childhood. He was born in Mexico City in 1954 and grew up in a suburb of Cleveland,
Ohio. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Cleveland Institute of Art.
In 1978, Carlton enlisted in the army, serving as a helicopter pilot. During his military
career, he was stationed at various bases around the world. He painted as a way to record
his personal experiences.
Carlton’s work today reflects the images and people he encountered in his travels over the
years–a provocative, unconscious synthesis of disparate characters and themes that is
best described as a combination of realism and high-energy expressionism. His style is
inspired by the work of Winslow Homer and George Bellows. In each of his paintings,
Carlton strives to adhere to a creative philosophy based on four elements: color, light,
emotion and energy, with the emphasis on bold intense color and action.
Carlton and his wife Ann currently live in the Finger Lakes area of New York. He is now
devoted to his career as an artist, working in oil. His paintings have been exhibited in
shows throughout the region.