Moore On Art – Virgil Carter


By Deva Moore

Refresh our world, refresh our lives, refresh our soul and what better way than to refresh our homes than with art. The magic of art is the perfect way to refresh it all. It fills the soul, it refreshes the mind and it refreshes the home. Virgil Carter has some exquisite art to do just that! Virgil has always been an artist of the soul since he was a child. His life took a more structured path for a while as he chose a career in the military to serve his country honorably.

No stranger to a work ethic or diversity, Virgil Carter has accomplished 4 very different careers in his life. He also managed to successfully find an outlet for his interest in art. As a young boy, he loved to sketch and paint and did so regularly which has led to his current position as one of Kendall County’s local artists. He has enjoyed his role as a Special Forces officer with his assignment as a Combat officer in the northern mountains of South Vietnam, he was a practicing architect with a prestigious firm, he garnered an esteemed reputation as a tenured architectural professor and he relished his position as Head of the School of Architecture. While he threw himself into each of these positions with ease and great competency, he has settled into life as a polished artist. One who brings such joy and color to his artwork.

Born in Texas, and after traveling the globe in his line of duty and beyond, Virgil and his family settled in Boerne. He and his wife have been married an amazing successful 56 years. One of his daughters teaches in the Comfort school district where she successfully molds the minds of children and the other daughter works internationally for a prestigious marketing strategy company. He and his wife enjoy the simplicity of the countryside and their family.

Virgil has a distinct and beautiful approach to his art, thus giving the viewer the ability to imagine themselves right in the middle of his work enjoying both the solitude and the peace of his subjects. One can imagine the temperature, the sounds, the smells and the peace in each of his works.

His favorite medium is watercolors and his bold use of color and shading brings a vibrancy to his work. Virgil tells a story in each of his works that can be elaborated on by those who seek his work. This brings to mind when someone sees something odd on the side of the road and creates a story as to how it got there, where it came from and where it may be going. Imagination at its best! Virgil enjoys painting landscapes and towns. He brings to life the creek running through the field surrounded by trees or a street in a town on the brink of breaking morn or the sunset as the town is settling down for the night and all in watercolors with such vibrancy one imagines themselves there. Virgil’s art tells a story with light and tone and expression. Artwork has such power and the power in Virgil’s work is stunning.

Virgil is a very complex and talented artist. He seeks out people, places and things that intrigue him and many times will photograph for future reference. He closely aligns his photos with the light and the colors so when he creates the painting or sketch it is as close to the real color and true tones with the right lighting cast.

Virgil has experience with most forms of painting but has found that his use of watercolor gave him the best result. He could make the watercolors jump with the density of the paint, and he could thin shadows or create boldness with his adjustment to his paint. Texture was easily applied. Virgil enjoys painting most anywhere. He does have a studio but it is currently not open to the public. He exhibits in local galleries. The Carriage House Gallery and the Kerrville Museum of Fine Art both have numerous pieces of Virgil’s art and the reader is encouraged to visit these locations for a treat.

Carter’s motivation comes from “plein air” as well as anything that speaks to him and tells a story. He has had many artists in his life that he has admired but Virgil prefers going his own way and painting in a direction as it evolves. He fashions his art on his own and he encourages his students to do the same. He is unique and original in everything he paints. As mentioned he photographs for reference but he allows the painting to unfold as he paints. Painting is a positive learning experience for all. The painter tells the story and the viewer adds chapters to complete the message. Imagination is key to unlocking the experience of a Virgil Carter work.

Virgil does offer night out classes of many levels. He encourages beginners, he offers critical observations for intermediates and careful constructive criticism for those advanced artists. He encourages each of his students to find their own perspective when painting. Virgil finds the exploration of light as a useful tool in his artwork. The differences in how light affects the finished work is crucial to how the work is accepted. Virgil finds early morning or late evening light as the most crucial telling tones. The colors, the hues and the tones change with the light depicted in life at different times of the day.

Virgil and his wife have traveled extensively and his favorite places to have lived and explored were the Provence of France and Tuscany of North Italy. The beauty and inspiration were outstanding and extraordinary.

He enjoys stimulating a relationship with the viewer’s participation in his art. Creating strong emotions and a story through one’s interpretation of the light, paint, colors and textures are constant goals of Virgil’s. He tends not to explore realism so much as suggestion and allows the story to unfold through the eyes of the viewer. If his work stimulates a relationship between the viewer and the painting then he is satisfied that he has been successful. Judging by his work, this author is certain that Virgil Carter is quite successful.

In his professional careers in life, Virgil was entertaining explaining his interest in art was always present. He would be in an important meeting with military giants and he would have his notepad filled with drawings and sketches of future paintings.

Virgil stays fresh with his own exceptional thirst for the knowledge and learning of new techniques, updated styles and new designs as he has continuously taken classes each year for a few weeks at a time ensuring he stays abreast of art knowledge. He shares that knowledge in workshops and classes during the year. Virgil’s work has been selected for many juried exhibitions by the Baltimore Watercolor Society, Chester County Art Association, Texas Watercolor Society, Pennsylvania Watercolor Society and many more. He has exhibited at the 195 Gallery in Boerne, Kerrville Art and Cultural Society, Comfort Art Festival, Guadalupe Watercolor annual exhibit and the Intermezzo Gallery in Comfort. There are many more distinguished societies that Virgil is a member of and juried artist member that one can find on his website for reference. Virgil can be reached at 830-331-2014 or 484-467-2636 to arrange classes.

Art is a fine expression of anything one desires in today’s world. If one just wants to admire talent and own a piece of expressive art or if one would like some lessons on their own art journey, Virgil Carter is the next call you should make. Get lost in the beauty of life with a painting by artist Virgil Carter….it is a beautiful place to get lost.