Charles Rowland

About the Artist

“A painting should feel like something rather than look like something”

Those are the words of Mel Stabin, one of my mentors during a week long workshop a few years ago. That single sentence summed up the essence of the elusive goal I had been pursuing in my work. While the artist is always tempted to perfect technique in order to accurately, even “photographically” reproduce the subject matter, all that is for naught if the result does not capture the viewer’s imagination and stir an emotional response. We are surrounded by an ever changing environment of sights, sounds, and experiences and every once in awhile something in all that overload of stimuli triggers an emotion, makes us smile or tugs at our heart. For the artist, the secret is to capture the essence of what is meaningful about the subject and to eliminate those things that don’t contribute.

So, that’s what my work is about. I first need that burst of inspiration that comes when I“see “something” I really like. Next comes the process of identifying specifically what it is about the subject that I like. Then comes the project of accentuating those aspects while diminishing or eliminating the elements that don’t contribute to the desired “feeling”. You accomplish this step, I will often do a series of sketches to develop the subject much as an author or musician would develop the plot of a book, or the melody of a song. And when the melody sounds right, it’s time to paint.

-Charles Rowland