Christie Charbonneau Wells

charbenneauI am currently working on a series of images in both oil and encaustic that relate to my response, as artist, to the world around me. I am interested in color and the power of color. My “Abstraction II Series” is based on the use of simple geometric colored shapes — mainly squares, rectangles, triangles, etc — placed in non-illusionistic space, i.e., the actual picture plane. The elimination of illusionistic content in this series frees me, as artist, to explore the essential qualities necessary to achieve a compelling work of art.

Originally trained as a sculptor I think of my paintings as objects. When I paint I am interested in the tactile nature of paint. I love the smell of wax melting and enjoy the studio ritual of preparing the various oil and wax mediums. Currently I am exploring the use of encaustics to integrate layered images and paint structures thus placing further emphasis on the physical nature of each piece. My work often makes use of irregular-shaped supports and metal leafing to better focus on this idea of object. Size is an important factor in my work. In the smaller works I try to convey a feeling of intimacy and mystery, much like an icon. The process of painting on a large scale involves me physically. My paintings are often comprised of component parts — diptychs, triptychs and multiple canvases — to better convey the notion of observed object while emphasizing the physical nature of the painting itself.

Christie Charbonneau Wells was born and grew up in the Adirondacks, near Lake Champlain. Wells studied painting and sculpture at St. Lawrence University and received her M.F.A. in Painting from the University of Delaware. The artist has lived and painted in various locations throughout the U.S., exhibiting her work in the Northeast, the South and most recently the midwest. In 2000, she moved with her family to Oshkosh, Wisconsin and currently works in a studio in her home. Prior to moving to Wisconsin, Wells taught studio art at several universities including the University of Delaware, West Chester University and Indiana State University. Since her move to Wisconsin she has remained active in various community projects, including co-chairing and organizing the current exhibition of local artists within the Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel in downtown Oshkosh.

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