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Thicket is my newest abstract and surreal painting, created with watercolor, ink and pastel, 19 1/4″ x 20″.

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I began this more abstract painting, much as I do many, with only a slight perception of where the story might take me. My lines felt very much in sync with how I make contour drawings, but by using larger movements. India ink is a marvelous medium because it is so powerful, lustrous and unforgiving. Because this ink is permanent, creating with it feels like cliff-jumping. Sometimes I decide to jump really big. Why not? This work is figurative in the slightest, wildest sense. I hope to impart a kind of biophilic, nature-needing impulse.

Thicket is immediately available for purchase at my website.

Here are some recent ink drawings.

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Oyster

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The Praise. This is a drawing from my series, elementals. 

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Above is a detail picture from one of my small paintings in progress. This bird found itself on the edges of a lavender structure. I didn’t know it was a bird till I put a drop of black India ink on the sienna oval… and voila. Tweet, tweet.

It has been a productive summer thus far in my new home/old hometown, Phoenix. It’s heating up, but I feel my body adjusting to the encroaching 110+ temps. However, I won’t mind heading up north to my other mountain home, Flagstaff, to cool off and be inspired by the lupines, primroses and wild orchids.

Below is truly an Arizona drawing called Mountains and Mesas, 2016. I made it while living in an alternate reality of dewy, humid nature in the PNW.

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Take care.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is my latest painting. The process of it almost haunted me as I swam from color to color, through tawny swirls of soil and rosy blossoms, then finally arrived at a greener palette. It seemed to me to be reflective of an innate tendency to draw toward nature, away from man made material, to be humbled and alive in a force that is greater than us, yet every bit a part of who we are. I feel we all need to go there, lost into nature places,  to remember what we cannot say with words. I still feel a lot of mystery about this work. I wonder if some day I might meet someone who knows the rest of the story. 

When He Himself Is Covered Green, 2016, watercolor, ink and pastel, 12 3/16″ x 15 15/16″.

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Details:

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In 2010 I painted The Gift. I am thrilled that this magical painting will be included and for sale in Herberger Theater Art Gallery’s upcoming  group exhibition, Home for the Holidays. This show will be located at their Arizona Center gallery at 455 N. Third Street, Suite 1200 in Phoenix, AZ, opening reception November 18th, 6-8pm. The show runs from November 18th – January 16th.

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Below is a work in progress.

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I’ll leave you with a little drawing. Feel all there is with and within the one you love, while you have the time.

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I’ll Stay Awake to See Your Colors

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New painting: Drawn into Nectar, 2015, watercolor, ink and pastel, 18″ x 15″, charmagnecoe.com. It is intended to be part of Essential Creatures, an exhibition honoring the pollinators of our world. This takes place at West of the Moon Gallery, 14 N. San Francisco St., Flagstaff, AZ 86001. (928) 774-0465. The open reception is April 3rd, 2015, First Friday, 6-9 pm and is continues till the end of April.

This painting encompasses many feelings of child-like wonder and an appreciation for our interconnectedness with nature. Below are some more detail pictures. I often feel there are many smaller paintings within a single painting. Enjoy!

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It’s important to recognize the small creatures that support our web of life. Stop and observe. I encourage one not to immediately swat away or squash those who are simply doing their miniature, yet vital jobs as part of our life force. I personally experience the divine sacredness of life when I remember to slow down and look around at, and even better yet, look into nature. Here is a mourning cloak butterfly discovered last spring by my son. He/she was attached to a safe crevice on a wall outside our front door and had just emerged from the cocoon, wings still damp.

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These have been quiet, long studio days, interspersed with bouts of floundering. It feels like I’m walking through molasses. I’ve painted over more times than I know and conducted several acts of destruction/change. Pulling an unfinished painting off it’s mount because it’s not meant to be finished is very painful. Sometimes the story just won’t materialize and I hit that hard wall. Then it’s over. All the hard work. Eventually I move into a new place of trust and tell myself, ‘It’s alright, the story is still alive’. Maybe the story will be resurrected in a new way, with new characters, with new landscapes. And that has happened sometimes. I’m still waiting with others… little pieces I snipped out of mucked paintings are tucked away carefully for some future.

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As a child, I would watched my father, a master jeweler, melting down misshapen or leftover silver, then casting new objects. He didn’t waste a thing. I trust that logic and a kind of spiritual perseverance coming from a man who has lived lives within lives. He taught me that the misshapen and imperfect elements of creating and life are equally precious — and often misunderstood. So, my painting mishaps of late are “feeling” places for me and will lead to other places I’ll be too.

I’ve been working on this painting for some time. Here’s it is so far. After I took this pic, I added several notes to myself regarding story elements that will be embedded. I don’t know when I’ll finish this, but I for damn sure don’t want to rush a single thing, a single flavor. For some reason, the word glossolalia continues to repeat itself as I work.

wip by charmagne coe
wip by charmagne coe

Recent drawings.
Stand, ink drawing by Charmagne CoeStand
Geo Circadian, ink drawing by Charmagne Coe Geo Circadian
Slighter Than, Open Then, ink drawing by Charmagne Coe

Slighter Than, Open Then 

Here is a simple piano song I wrote, circa 1996.

The world is dark.
That’s what they say.

But I will remember
The truth.

Your heart is dark.
That’s what you say.
But I will remember
The truth.

And I know the truth:

People fall asleep.
When they “awake”,
They’ve forgotten all they’ve seen.
 

Roll down
Underneath the water.
Breathe deep

All of your treasure.

Roll down
Underneath the water.
Breathe deep

All of your treasure.

13903954663_8ddfbe65db_zMaui, Hana Highway

This is my newest painting, Panthea. 2014, 26 5/16″ x 18 3/8″, watercolor, ink and pastel. You can also view it at my website.

Panthea, painting by Charmagne CoeAnd detail photographs….Panthea, detail, painting by Charmagne Coe
Panthea, detail, painting by Charmagne Coe
Panthea, detail, painting by Charmagne Coe
Panthea, detail, painting by Charmagne Coe
I am thrilled about this work  It became quite an undertaking, not only because it is a larger piece, but because the story within kept evolving.  Just as I thought the painting was coming to a close, another surprise twist would appear. It embodies many illuminations and inner spiritual contemplations. The experience was wholly numinous.

More news! I will be discussing Panthea in an art column I was invited to write for Arcadia Magazine’s Online Sundries.  The column is titled “Familiar Spirits Light a Way”. For six months it will feature six of my paintings selected from 2011 – 2014.  Here is an excerpt:

“… my pursuit is to conduit essential narratives from the spiritual and collective unconscious, incorporate life all around me and to further be a part of that deeply mysterious and bottomless connectedness with others.”

 

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My copy of Viriditas: an anthology of contemporary female artists, has arrived! It is an exquisite, mysterious, spiritual journey into the creative lives of women from around the world. This collection was created by Michaela Meadow. Several of my paintings are also included throughout. I am touched every time I turn its pages. To be connected to others through our creative expressions is a deep and uplifting experience.

Michaela writes about what you will discover:

“… in-depth interviews with artists, each chapter explores the intrinsic themes weaving within their work: creating myths for the modern day, embracing the sensual, becoming both creator and muse, confronting the eternal circle of life and death, and exploring our relationship with the natural world and our own inner primal nature.”

“Springing from the pantheon of artists before them, the female Surrealists in the 20s to the Feminist artists in the 60s and 70s, the artists in this collection re-address earlier questions and present a fresh perspective on subjects that are still important today.”

This is a limited edition of 500. It is 156 pages and in full color. You may order it here: http://magpiemagazine.bigcartel.com/.

How I’ve looked forward to the announcement of Pausal’s new limited-edition vinyl album release, Along the Mantic Spring.Well, it’s almost here! The album will begin shipping May 6, 2014, but can now be pre-ordered at http://infraction.bandcamp.com/album/along-the-mantic-spring. Pausal is the ambient music collaboration of Simon Bainton and Alex Smalley. Please go listen to audio samples at the link. It is otherworldly music. And utterly beautiful.

Along the Mantic Spring cover art

The title of the album was taken from the title of my painting used for the front panel.

The album is gate-fold, or four panels. I created several interlaced ink drawings for the two interiors. They are figurative (human and beast), intuitive, magical, mythical….


Here are some pictures of those drawings laid out. As Pausal’s music filled my studio, it was completely effortless to find inspiration.

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I’ll share a bit about the title and coinciding painting used for the front panel. Along the Mantic Spring was composed, as usual, starting with a feeling, as opposed to thought-out, stringent imagery. I sensed I would be conveying something sacred. Soon, the figures arrived and the shapes and patterns coalesced. When I paint, there is always constant tension and resolve, a back and forth external/internal dialogue; I am being communicated with and am communicating to. I react to the combination of colors, textures, patterns as much as having an effect on them. All of this, in turn, inter-plays with my current experiences, even the very music that is playing. Sometimes the title will come to me before a painting starts. Sometimes months before. But in this case, I named it afterward. When I finished the work, I did not know the full story of what I had painted but it was obvious that the figures were involved with one another and also with the elements around them. So I went searching for a name and the plot of the story. It started with a word,”grotto”.  Soon I was reading about oracles and prayer places….

https://i0.wp.com/www.ratestogo.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/aqua-grotto.jpgphoto by Trey Ratcliff

I have a keen interest in anything ceremonial, anthropological and mythological . It’s comforting to read about scientific adaptation, laws and phenomena, but so to is learning about the ignition of, the migration and cultural borrowing of spiritual and philosophical ideas that have gotten us to this point. We’ve always been grappling with physical mortality, but also with our soulishness. We’ve built temples, etched cave walls, held hands as we stood in close circles and watched the stars to intuit our purpose, be it in love or hunting or war.  I was fascinated to read again about the oracle at Delphi and the mantic, message-bearing spring. It struck a note.

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This idea of communing with gods, with each other and with nature resonated with some of my own experiences. Also, certain phraseology from my charismatic religion of youth, such as”living waters” and “the spirit moved on the face of the water”, came back to me in a delightfully fresh way. It hit home. Communing with one another and touching nature binds us together. It sets certain truths free. As you can see on other panels, the theme continued on and story kept building. I am even still finding out what the story is all about!

When I spoke of the title concept to Alex and Simon, we discovered an uncanny similarity of ideas regarding communication. We all agreed that the painting title would also be a great album title too. I will always be deeply honored and thankful to have had this experience and to have worked with such gracious musicians who were open to an organic flow in creativity.

Below is the back panel with hand-lettered the titles, credits, music label and other information.


Thanks for reading. Should be posting again soon since I just finished a large painting. Here’s a glimpse… taped and covered in glassine. 😉

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