|Drawing, Pastels, Photography||N||None|
Charlene was never given any formal training until taking two art classes at Cochise Community College, while working on an Associates Degree in Computer Applications in 2002. She works for the Cochise County Library District, as Manager of the Elfrida Branch Library.
Charlene began taking her art serious when she attended one drawing and one watercolor class in college. She has entered 4 pieces of art in competitions. One while in college was a juried art show at the Central Art Project in Bisbee; an two others in 3 different competitions Willcox, Elfrida and Cochise County fair, where she won, 3 best of show, one 1st, one 2nd, Rex Allen Best Western, Cowbell’s Choice, Sponsor, and one People’s Choice award.
In Charlene’s own words;
Getting lost in my drawing isn’t a hard task. I felt guilty for a long time because I can start a picture and everything and everyone goes away. I might as well be in another universe. With encouragement from mentors, family and friends, I have decided to take my art to the next level to earn some recognition and a supplemental income doing what I enjoy. Jumping in with both feet didn’t prepare me for starting at the bottom like all artists. Being a little too proud of my work I have seemed to overprice it. I am rethinking my starting point and trying to be a little more realistic on pricing my art. I hope that people will welcome me into the art community and feel excited to be taking a major step that didn’t feel comfortable for me previously.
Following is an interview with Charlene conducted in August, 2010.
What drew you to the visual arts?
I guess the thing that drew me most to creating art is the fact that I grew up in such a beautiful environment, where I was drawn to nature. Growing up on an original family homestead with family all around gave all the kids plenty of grown-up time and someone was always willing to show us how to do something new and different. From the time I was a child I began drawing horses. We were able to ride for miles throughout Sulphur Springs Valley; and always had a limited income, so I had to be creative. Besides it was a lot more fun drawing than doing my school work.
You come from an artistic family. Will you tell us a little about your family?
My dad, Charlie, was a fiddle maker, refurbished old Studebaker cars, made airplanes and always had a beautiful garden. My sister Almeda, paints and is a great decorator. Four of my aunts are artists. Peggy quilts, paints and does many creative crafts. Agnes paints, plays any stringed instrument and has an amazing garden. Bernice is also a quilter, makes Indian pots the Indian way, sews, and gardens.  And my aunt Lois paints, gardens, and all of them can food and cook.
What drives you to create?
Mostly my family and friends are my motivators, but nature and its beauty make me want to try to capture some of its splendor. Rita Sue Powell a realistic color pencil artist has showed me more about art and supplies in the last two years then I have known all my life. I look at Rita’s drawings and aspire to be half as good as she is someday.
After viewing your work, what do you hope a person takes with them?
I want people to look at my art and see life, both in the subject matter and style. I improve a little with each of my drawings, and get a thrill to know that I am still trainable. I hope to acquire a reputation, and patronage that will see my improvements and growth, and grow with me. I would love to see my work in a gallery or two, and be able to have a website where people can see the diversity of my artistic ability.
Thank you Charlene. We enjoy hanging your work and we wish you the best of luck.
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