@charissaowensart on Instagram
My name is Charissa Owens and I am an abstract expressionist artist and a native of Alexandria, Louisiana. I grew up in a large, close knit family, spending a lot of time outside, as I always loved nature. Inspired by the colors and textures in the world around me, I am thankful that Louisiana has always been my home because it affords me an incredible and diverse palette from which to learn and grow.
I have always been fascinated by art, and consistently worked with my hands to create! This began in elementary school when my uncle, an architect, gave an art lesson to my class and then continued to share his love of drawing and art with me. I would sit on his drafting table and draw flowers as he taught me techniques and gave me inspiration. I studied art in high school and cultivated it further in college, ultimately earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. Upon graduation, I worked as a Graphic Designer for 4 years, and then pursued my other passion of teaching children and taught Kindergarten in the Rapides Parish School System.
As an educator, I prioritized making school fun for my students and kept my love of art alive by incorporating it into my daily routine of teaching reading and math. While taking a year off from teaching, I worked as the graphic designer, marketing and social media manager for a start-up clothing company called Souk Indigo. This experience reawakened more of my creative side and a desire to continue on this artistic journey. I returned to teaching and was able to combine my love of art with teaching children, by now serving as a Talented Visual Arts educator for the Rapides Parish school system. I am passionately focused on growing the love of art for our next generation of artists.
In between being a wife to Reldon Owens, a mother to 3, and working my full-time job as an art teacher, I find time to create in the evenings and on the weekends in my home studio and in my studio at River Oaks Arts Center. I began my art career by hand painting pillows with nature scenes in 2020, and since then, I have been commissioned to create multiple abstract, watercolor, and multimedia pieces that are now on display in homes and businesses throughout the state and beyond the borders of Louisiana. My artwork incorporates a soft color palette that is infused with a sense of elegance, peace and serenity. I explore delicate layering of muted colors and work with a myriad of hues, tones, tints, and shades. As an artist I strive for each individual piece to portray a sophisticated elegance and simplicity that brings warmth to wherever it is displayed.
My love for Art History, textiles, and fashion gives some influence, but my main inspiration comes from past years as a graphic designer and a love of the textures found in nature. I often see composition and patterns on objects in the world around me that find their way onto my canvas in new and different ways. I love the continuously evolving process of multimedia layering by using a variety of unexpected tools and creating slight hints of the underpainting that peep out in the piece. Art is what I live and breathe in my everyday life, constantly striving to capture the wonder of what I see to share with others. I draw inspiration from simple things in life that create complex, delicate, and intricate patterns. I feel keen observation, spontaneity, and intuition are key factors to my creative process.
Most recently, I had a piece featured in the PAUSE exhibit at the Alexandria Museum of Art, The Artists Spotlight Show at River Oaks Arts Center and will be featured in the online gallery with The Scouted Studio.
To see more of my art, you can find me on Facebook and Instagram at @charissaowensart.
Please contact me if you are interested in creating a custom commission piece for your space.
Questions & Answers
Describe your art in three words.
Serene, Delicate & Elegant
Describe yourself in one word.
What do you love the most about creating art in your community? What particular part of your immediate environment, in your neighborhood specifically influences your work?
I often see composition and patterns on objects in the world around me that find their way onto my canvas in new and different ways. I love the continuously evolving process of multimedia layering by using a variety of unexpected tools and creating slight hints of the underpainting that peep out in the piece. Art is what I live and breathe in my everyday life, constantly striving to capture the wonder of what I see to share with others. I draw inspiration from simple things in life that create complex, delicate, and intricate patterns. Such as botanicals, sunsets, and topographical features of the earth. I feel keen observation, spontaneity, and intuition are key factors to my creative process.
Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece? I always listen to music. It helps put my mind in a creative state. My kids and husband laugh at me because I absolutely love foreign jazz music. I also love classical pop. Melody with no lyrics that allows me to concentrate on the creative work that I am producing, but also evokes emotion as I paint is the perfect music for my creative process. My happy place is to open the windows in my studio and let the sunshine and the breeze in while I paint. Getting in "the zone" is such an important part of the painting process for me. Sometimes I get so engulfed in the creation process, that I lose track of time, forget about life around me, and simply create. For me, that is the sweet spot of creativity. I feel keen observation, intuition, and spontaneity are a big part of my process with every piece I create.
Where do you draw inspiration?
My love for Art History, textiles, and fashion gives some influence, but my main inspiration comes from past years as a graphic designer and a love of the textures found in nature. I often see composition and patterns on objects in the world around me that find their way onto my canvas in new and different ways. I like to dwell on color, organic shapes, lines, balance, and texture.
Who are your artistic influences or gurus?
I admire so many different types of art and styles and draw inspiration from them all. The most important factor that influences me and my work is when I see another artist who have a complete passion & dedication to refine their craft. I admire the work of Maura Segal, Marina Savashynzkaya Dunbar, Brittney Ciccone, Demond Matsuo, VanGogh, Matisse, Cezanne and so many more!
In New Orleans, art and music go hand in hand. What type of music, band or song lyric best describes your work?
I absolutely love French & Italian Jazz. I also love classical pop. I would say Blossom Dearie, Emilie Claire Barlow, Alexis Ffrench, Francoise Hardy, and Flora Martinez are all artists that influence my work and seem to pair perfectly with my style.
Where can we find you when you are not creating art?
When I am not painting, I am teaching art lessons to children in the Rapides Parish School System Talented Art program. You can also find me cheering my own children on in all their extracurricular activities and cooking good food for my family in my kitchen. Rest and rejuvenation is such a necessary thing for me to include in my life. I feel like that allows my mind to recharge so I can be creative.
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
I absolutely love the morning time. I am a morning person for sure. I also love fall and spring time. I love when the weather is sunny and cool and I can open up all the windows to hear the birds sing and the breezes blow.
What is something people don’t know about you? A fun fact.
I love good fancy food.
I am a coffee snob. I am all about a good cappuccino.
I ALWAYS cold! I love a good fuzzy blanket.
I own way too many tennis shoes.
I hate clutter in my house, but in my studio I hoard all the art scraps and random "tools" that I might use one day to create something.
I am also part hippie at heart. Haha...I love yoga and eating natural food from the earth. I could spend all day wondering around in nature, eating good food, painting, listening to good music, and observing the beauty of the world.
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Where You Can Find My Work
All works listed online are available to be viewed at Where y’Art Works Gallery by appointment.
River Oaks Square Arts Center
Southern Chic Home
Facebook: Charissa Owens