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How It Changed Her

Updated: Sep 27, 2022

Hands, hearts & head scarves - Charlotte gives us an inside view into the collection recently completed for Charlotte Marie Fine Art and how it inspired her next creative project.

Woman on a hammock

How it Changed Her - because life does change us. Change is the only inevitable after all. But how it changes us is the interesting part for me. As an artist working predominantly with those more delicate emotional states that are difficult to express, I'm always fascinated by the way that the feeling of a painting can shift so quickly with the tilt of a head, or a difference in color or stroke. As an artist that works a lot with symbolism - this too can become an interesting challenge when there is an intentional story to be conveyed. How will this particular symbol change or address it?

Life off the canvas is no different. As humans we often change our state with the simplest additions. One particular addition is the use of scarves, an essential item in my wardrobe. I love wearing head scarves - the colors, soft fabrics, details and most importantly the way it makes me feel. I hadn't really thought about this until I started painting INSIDE OUT . In particular "Shades of Orchid" - depicted above. I had originally intended for this woman to have flowing red hair, however when it came to the final styling, something didn't feel quite right. I must have tried at least 4-5 different versions of her hair before I finally realized that she wanted a head scarf. Three styles of head scarves later and we now have the final painting which you see.

Well, this was the birth of a new depth to my fascination with headscarves. I suddenly found myself researching all sorts of cultures and their particular use of head scarves and quickly observed a trend - a rich history of changing states. From building a sense of courage amongst African slaves, to beautifying shampoo-less war-time women, all the way to a state of humbling oneself by certain religious groups, the simple (or elaborate and beautiful) outside cloth has long been used to change the inside and outside state for those wearing them.

Textiles are highly inspirational for me - probably one of the reasons I love creating fabrics for Drew's leather work. I also like to accentuate them in my artwork because they give away so much and yet still look beautiful. Bringing all of this together, I have found myself working on a new body of work based on the state of change induced by the head scarf. I see these as a continuation (and further exploration) of INSIDE OUT because I feel that these bodies of work are richly connected. Botanical symbolism is still playing a role, and I'm using the same medium set as well. I have several paintings loosely sketched out and three in progress, but I am still learning about this collection.

It's honestly a lot of play for me, as I have long been fascinated with a more tribal style of artwork which look as if they’ve been painted by hand or with natural tool picked right up off the ground. I'm trying to work out how this fits in with my more realist style of painting... and yes I have used my fingers and hands a lot for these pieces.

But that's one of the things I love most about painting. It's a two way conversation and experience. Each painting will tell me a little more about itself and in doing so, I discover a little bit more about me.

How it changed her? How it changes me? ... I guess we'll find out won't we.

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