Calistoga, CA, October 20-31
This story was featured in the October 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art magazine October 2012 print edition here, or purchase the Southwest Art magazine October 2012 digital download here. Or subscribe to Southwest Art magazine and never miss a story!
Growing up in Quebec, Canada, Charles White showed an early interest in art. He began drawing when he was 6 years old and was captivated by animals and nature. When he was 12 he received a package from his grandmother—an oil-painting kit. “You really need to get outside and paint landscapes,” his grandmother told him. So the young artist did just that, and he hasn’t stopped since. “I fell in love with it,” he says.
White still has that oil kit from his grandmother, but today his palette reflects the array of vibrant colors and subtle tones featured in his landscape paintings. More than 20 new works by White are on display this month at Lee Youngman Galleries in a solo show titled The Path Worth Taking. The show opens October 20 with an artist’s reception from 4 to 7 p.m. and hangs through October 31.
White is best known for his ability to portray the vibrant luminosity of autumn, the rolling hills of California, and the exquisite beauty of English gardens. His travels throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe provide an endless supply of material to paint, though the artist finds much of his inspiration in the landscape of California, where he now resides. “The Bay Area has myriad places and things to paint—from vineyards and rolling hills to nice city-street scenes, seascapes, and the Golden Gate Bridge,” he says.
While White still enjoys plein-air painting, his works are usually a combination of three or more methods. Often he will begin a painting on location and bring photographs of the landscape back to his studio. From there he allows his imagination to take over, sometimes adding elements and objects to the painting that aren’t in the real-life scene. “I’m interpreting what I see by taking the landscape and adding dramatic light, color, and sometimes objects, like a gazebo or a bench, to create a more interesting composition,” White says.
His latest work continues with this method, producing what the artist describes as “realistic, but enhanced,” landscapes. Indeed, White’s paintings convey the beauty of nature while also capturing the power of imagination. “I want to create a scene that evokes an emotional response, a scene that makes the viewer say, ‘I want to be there,’ or ‘I remember being there,’” he says. —Lindsay Mitchell
Featured in the October 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art magazine October 2012 digital download
Southwest Art magazine October 2012 print edition
Or subscribe to Southwest Art magazine and never miss a story!
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