Charlene's art journey started at a young age, from the age of 5 until about 15 she used to regularly paint alongside her Granny using oil paints. Charlene went on to graduate from University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. She has explored a wide variety of mediums including printmaking, charcoal, pencils, acrylics, and watercolor painting. She has recently found a passion for painting with ink and tea.
Born in South Africa, her work is regularly inspired by African patterns and animals.
One of the most significant moments in her life was losing her sister to depression. Following this event, Charlene has made it her goal to release kindness and happiness into the world, usually through her art, but often just by simple everyday acts of kindness, like complimenting a stranger. Having suffered from mental health issues herself, Charlene understands the inner turmoil of feeling depressed and wanting to be happy. Of succumbing to feeling grief but staying in control of those emotions. Her paintings often reflect this conflict. Her free-flowing fluid ink paintings are juxta positioned by the tightly controlled, precise line work she draws over the ink. These ink markings often lead Charlene into a kind of meditative state which helps her mental health on a level that nothing else can. Her aspiration is to bring a positive emotion into the world, be that via her artwork, or her honest demeanor as a human.
I painted her on what is known in the UK as 'Blue Monday'. It's said to be the most depressing day of the year. a day when most people tend to feel down and blue, a day when I too felt down and blue.
Having suffered from mental health issues throughout my adult life, I've often felt like a 'weak woman who simply can't get a grip on life'. But as I've matured, I've also learned that alongside my weakness, I also hold an inner strength. A resilience that only exists because of my battle against feeling weak and useless. My art is something I know I can rely on to help me through these times. This piece is a testament to that. 'Monday' is a reminder that there is beauty, even during sadness. That there is hope, even when you feel nothing but despair. We as women in particular have an inner strength, despite being depicted as the weaker species. And that sometimes we need to experience weakness and sadness in order to recognize this. It's a reminder that no matter how weak of a woman I feel, I am also strong. 'Monday' encapsulates both feminine beauty and yet her stare is one of fiery resolve. She is a woman that is comfortable in her own skin, and that in itself is more beautiful than physical appearance.