Carpenter’s ‘Can Art’ in Camden

Jan 06, 2014
Jim Carpenter is pictured hanging his “Paint Can Art” for the January exhibit at Camden Public Library.

Camden — Jim Carpenter’s “Paint Can Art” is on display for the month of January at the downtown Camden Public Library. There will be a reception for the artist Saturday, Jan. 18, at 2 p.m.; all are welcome.

Carpenter is a self-taught photographer who has always enjoyed capturing the beauty that surrounds him, and he is always looking for new subjects to photograph. When his job called for purging the pigments from the paint machines, the stunning colors and patterns led him to try to capture some of the depth and beauty of the accidental art. The result is a series of photographs in the “Paint Can Art” display.

Carpenter’s art came about quite unexpectedly, if you  ask him. He would tell you the art came to him, for he has no formal training in the world of art. It happened that one morning while purging the paint machines, he noticed that the colorant was forming beautiful designs. On that particular day, he was lucky enough to have his camera handy to take the photographs. He found that by working the colorants he could create beautiful designs and, by using varying techniques, create the design he was looking for.

He enhances the designs in a photo editing program and create “paint can art” prints. Carpenter often prints his work on metal or on metallic paper for brilliance and sheen. Each design is unique, for the medium he uses changes so rapidly that only a photograph could capture it.

Carpenter and his family moved to Maine in 2000 from Long Island, N.Y. Carpenter and his family moved to Maine in 2000 from Long Island, N.Y. He currently works in the in the house paint department of a local building supply company.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or

Jim Carpenter’s mixed media work combines designs created from house paint colorants and photography, processed to create abstract imagery. (Photo by: Jim Carpenter)
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