Although he took up painting in high school, the first artistic passion that Monte Trevor Carlton embraced was acting. He decided to forgo an art scholarship in favor of studying dramatic arts at Skagit Valley College in his native Washington, soon followed by training at the Lee Strasberg Acting Workshop.
The following year he relocated to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Amidst the chaos of auditions and callbacks, Trevor paid the bills by working in a custom furniture store, specializing in antiquing and faux finish designs.
It was here that a style was born. Using reclaimed lumber as his "canvas," he started painting images of vintage Americana subjects ranging from pop icon celebrities to the iconic jazz musicians.
Today he accomplishes the effect by first painting a faux wood finish on canvas. Once this is finished, Trevor paints the character and scene over the finish. He completes the process by removing some of the paint with sandpaper.
“I want people to imagine they found my artwork in some old, run down movie theater basement, unpreserved and forgotten, an antique bearing the character that only the passage of time can bring,” says Carlton.
Carlton believes the sense of nostalgia his style conveys is especially appropriate for the art he creates for that most American of theatrical icons, Mickey Mouse.