This Week We Invite: Charlotte Jane Kessler
"Charlotte captures the beauty, power and fragility of this world. A graceful spirit shines from her paintings and a strong message of spiritual and ecological awakening is woven within them. She express aspects of archetypal feminine Mystique all the while playing with a sense of connection and disconnection from nature and ourselves? Her work provides an island of solace in a sometimes harsh and angular world though they are not always without provocation. Beneath the initial grace and beauty, elements of discord, disconnection and alienation stir."
Describe a typical day in a couple of sentences? My day starts with a smoothie, followed with fresh coffee, then back to bed to journal write, do a daily dose of reading and ten minutes meditation. Generally the day is divided in two: one half painting, sketching or working out compositions in the studio and the other half doing admin jobs. If I'm not careful admin can really take over because there are so many hats being self employed. I'm trying to spend more time creating this year and really stick to a weekly schedule.
Tell us a surprising thing about you? I love music and adventuring so much that I saw: This is The Kit, Snarky Puppy, Laura Mvula and a Vivaldi concert all in one week and in three different cities, one of which was New York.
In your studio – what’s the first thing you see? (be honest- I can see an empty packet of chocolate digestives!) The first thing I see is the back wall of my studio, which is the most exciting thing about my little space. I treated pallet wood and created a wall of them of all different shades and tones, thickness of wood and flow of grain. It's a little bit of traditional 'cabin' style I managed to create in an otherwise boring white box which helps me feel closer to nature.
Which artist living or dead would you like to meet and why? Which artist living or dead would you like to meet and why? Probably Salvador Dali, because he must have had so much fun creating such departures from reality! I would also love to meet Louise Bourgeoise because she was such a wonderful powerhouse of female energy and intelligence. Her work is very psychoanalytical and quite dark sometimes. I like that someone ventures into the shadows and caves of ordinary existence and comes out with such cathartic work for us to relate to or question.
Cats or dogs? Neither at the moment
Name your idle pleasure? It has to be walking in nature. Though theoretically that's not exactly idle. I do have a habit of stopping at every interesting bark on a tree, or petal of a flower and photographing blades of grass and other wild plants against the changing sunlight. So I could appear quite idle from a distance! I like observing a lot, including people watching.
Recommend a book? Entering The Circle by Olga Kharitidi
What helps you to focus? The soothing sounds on Radio Four. Cups of freshly made coffee. Good music in general! I've just bought a fab set of headphones and they cut out all the noise. That's the best way to focus my mind. Once paintbrush is in hand and the music is on I'm gone for hours.
What would your top tip be for the year – to yourself or to others? I recently came across a motivational speaker called Jim Kiwik, who says that mobile phones are robbing us of our sovereignty. I think he is right. They take away mindful moments and mess with our concentration. One of the best things I've started to do this year is not have my phone as an alarm; to not have it on an hour before bed or for an hour after waking up. I'm finding my morning routine feel so much healthier now. There is less distraction too and I feel more in control.
What are you looking forward to in the next year Overall, more stability. Over the last two years I've lived in four different places, including Spain where I completed a series of paintings because I couldn't afford to live in London any more. Then I returned home to Lincolnshire after 22 years. It's taken a while to get settled and now I have a lovely little cottage with an outbuilding for a studio. I am just really looking forward to balancing the simple things like work and play! Painting as much as I can, exhibiting and selling, connecting with like-minded people and making the most of everyday.