FEATURED ARTIST: Charmagne Coe
Spring is just around the corner. It is a sure sign when farm-animal-shaped chocolates and marshmallows start popping up everywhere. But this year, instead of a chocolate bunny, can I formally request a chick made of Romano or maybe a simple sheep’s milk cheese shaped like the ubiquitous egg? You know it is Spring when I am asking for cheese instead of blindly accepting chocolate in any form. Yum… cheeeeese.
The upcoming season of green has also brought to mind work with a lighter feel. For the most part, artists submitted work to the Featured Artist Contest this past month that felt hopeful although still contemplative. And, color abounded. This work was chosen because it had both a sense of wild abandon AND familial ties. I found the dichotomy intriguing. On behalf of www.ArtAndArtDeadlines.com, I am proud to congratulate Charmagne Coe as our latest Featured Artist!
Charmagne Coe is an American artist who creates expressive surreal paintings and drawings. Her work has been featured in international publications, group and solo exhibitions.
Her fantastical, surreal paintings are made with watercolor, ink and pastel. Inherent is a deep respect for the nature of automatism and contour line.
When she is not painting, she is inking wild expanses and heart-achy characters.
Are you self-taught or formally instructed in your current media? “Both, but mostly self-taught. I was raised in a family of artists and musicians, so I witnessed first-hand, the importance of authenticity and perseverance. I have a minor in art from Northern Arizona University. My schooling imparted crucial foundational skills and philosophical awareness. From there, I developed my own auto-didactic processes. Drawing was my first artistic love, but I greatly desired to be a painter as well. I wanted to somehow fuse the two. Experimenting led me to the three media I conjointly employ/implore now: watercolor, ink and pastel.”
Talk to me about your process and how you feel about teaching and/or sharing your process. “My process of obtaining ideas and painting itself is extremely organic and open-ended. My time management is structured. I am not inclined to teach the inspirational methods I use because painting is kind of like a personal meditation and a wild place. I like to preserve vulnerability for the canvas. However, I am always willing to discuss brush technique, marketing ideas, website construction and the like.” (Interview continues below.)
I find myself loving both saturation of color in your paintings and the stark contrast of your line drawings. Are the drawings studies for the paintings or just a separate passion? “I consider my drawings to be stand-alone works of art, but sometimes they naturally become studies for paintings. My painting and drawings are blood brothers.”
I see that figurative images weigh in heavily, and the evidence of Romanticism is rampant and extraordinary. Talk to me about your inspiration. “Yes, my work is partly figurative. The characters are enmeshed in surreal landscapes — which, to me, are actually like emotional atmospheres. I am truly a tactile person, a romantic, if you will… so that obviously comes across! Some of the latest are very sensual. Artwork from the Renaissance and Belle Époque eras have always enticed me, but so has modernity and futuristic panoramas. My work jumps freely between time periods.”
“My process and artwork is highly automatistic as was the first surrealists; I do not plan out my art in advance, so I freely express what I am feeling and sensing along the way. It’s sometimes like playing a solitary form of the game, Exquisite Corpse.”
My goal is not to paint exact representations of the world, but rather the feelings evoked by people, places and situations.
Talk to me about the two artists (one living, one dead) that have most influenced your work and why. “I am most influenced by life at large, and the loves of my life. So those artists who go after love and life hard, are who I am most taking with. I adore the ineffable works of Chris Berens. Miro’s vast legacy of artwork lifts my head off my shoulders.”
What is your favorite food? It IS a food-themed blog after all. “That’s easy–Mexican food. I come from a larger Hispanic family that really knows how to cook traditional, hearty food. It’s always made with fresh, simple ingredients. Sentimental as it sounds, my grandmother told me to always cook with the ingredient, love. She was right.”
What is your favorite snack food? “I am actually more of a snacker than an eater, so I have many, many faves. But for right now it’s Manchego cheese. I was actually in Spain at a street cafe when I discovered this traditional mild, nutty sheep’s cheese. I still like to eat it just as I did then–paired with young red wine and plain almonds.” Good choice. I have such a soft spot for cheese from both sheep and goat’s milk. Yum.
Thanks for spending a little time with us, Charmagne. What’s coming up next for you? “I am thrilled to have many recent paintings featured in the upcoming, Viriditas. It is an anthology of contemporary female artists created and curated by the extraordinary Michaela Meadow of Magpie Magazine.”