About the Artist:
Brightly colored oil paintings of nostalgic lifestyles and strong-willed women, are some of the recurrent images in Charlene Clark’s artwork. “There is an abundance of potent and visual memories inside my head and since most of these images no longer exist in reality I am compelled to put them on canvas,” says Clark. While definitely living in the present this obsession with the past is frankly revealed in her slightly quirky, atmospheric paintings of bygone eras.
Equally important to the combination of paint and imagination is her research with heavy emphasis on storytelling and myths. “In the course of exhibiting at art shows, people, while looking at my work, often spontaneously share their memories that relate to the painting. I accept these stories as gifts and record as much as I can,” Clark explains. She uses this collected material to compose her folkloric descriptions which she includes with the sale of each painting and print.
In the 20-plus years of pursuing her art full time Clark’s work has consistently focused on vivid color and fanciful imagery. For over a decade she was primarily known nationally for her handmade line of papier-mâché animals and shoes. Her client list included Neiman-Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and high-fashion shoe retailer Stuart Weitzman. Since 2003 she has resumed oil painting exclusively.
Clark began to teach herself to paint and draw while in her former career as a television producer and publicist. She drew inspiration from her collections of comic books, vintage pinup magazines and 1950’s clothing and shoes. She has been known to dress-up and photograph herself while wearing these outfits. The photos serve as studies for the paintings and also appear in her series of greeting cards.
Her artwork has been represented by galleries and shops throughout the U.S. and Canada. It has been featured in national and local publications including the Baltimore Sun, Better Homes and Gardens, Art Alternatives, Baltimore Magazine, Style, and Chesapeake Life and has received national television coverage on Home and Garden TV, PBS and MSNBC.
October 17, 2007