Charity Lynn Baker
Charity is one of my all time favourite artists. Her work is so beautiful. I love the emotions the figures convey, from utter serenity of couples lying in bed together, to wonder and peacefulness. The full figures, the simplicity and confidence of her brush work speaks volumes as both classic and contemporary influences shine.
Charity, I love your work. I find scrolling through your website and Instagram to be so therapeutic. Your worlds are tightly cropped, and the distance that the figures play is so important to me and how I perceive each of your works… Tell me, what do you want your work to say?
Each painting is a story, within a larger story of paintings. I build a series of work using my life and environment and imagination. Recent themes have been: living in the woods alone, loving two people at once, skinny dipping at night with a group of friends, and the cycles of a breakup. I want each painting to have memorable imagery, and the series to cover time.
Where do you find your inspiration? Where does it come from?
Life and art. I like to paint directly from life to start (portraits, landscapes). Then I build larger pieces with the life work, my memory, and imagination. All the while focusing on certain artists, or pieces in art history. In my last show “the Red Passion Suite” I made a ‘cycle’ of paintings about a break-up, after seeing “The Legend of Saint Ursula” by Vittore Carpaccio in Venice. I was travelling on a grant in Italy and Spain and moved by so much older work, cave painting, Etruscan sculpture, and cycles of medieval and renaissance paintings telling epic stories.
I find that fascinating. While I haven’t (yet!!) seen your work in person, I find the colours working so beautifully together. They seem to vibrate as well as live in cohesion… can you tell us a bit more about how you use colour?
The palette usually follows a group of work and is limited. primary colors, one or two earth colors, and (usually flake) white. Sometimes I have two versions of a color (2 blues, and 2 yellows). I learn so much about colors by sticking with them for a while, and keeping things simple.
Do you have any advice that you would give an artist starting out?
I heard this once: “The life of an artist is a difficult one, but worth every minute.” That rings true for me. Your desire and perseverance will dictate your experience. Love to paint, and paint often.
A very hard question this… Who is your favourite female artist:
I am thankful to all the female artists who paved the way. I've had the pleasure to meet and see the work in studio of a few: Louis Dodd, Katherine Bradford, Kyle Staver.