Charlene Mosley, born in Berlin, is a San Diego- based fine artist, illustrator, and muralist.
She received her BA in Studio Arts from San Diego State University with a minor in German Studies.
Mosley's current work discusses the 21st-century media-driven society and its relationship to technology and nature; in oils and watercolors. She depicts painted collages of people in their everyday activities surrounded by plant life with an interplay of pixelation and expressive brushstrokes. Mosley has won various awards and scholarships and has exhibited in national as well as international exhibitions.
The most recent international show, Perception, exhibited in Gdansk, Poland with four other international artists also working on Loving Vincent. Currently, Charlene works as a freelance, independent artist on several projects, such as murals, private commissions, and book illustrations with clients. She has painted murals at San Diego State University, Barrio Logan, La Jolla Shores, Horton Plaza, Venice Beach, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, and Lake Forest.
Working in Poland in 2016 on Loving Vincent, the first-ever, fully-painted, Oscar Nominated feature film, was Charlene’s first time tapping into animation and called for an unforgettable experience she will never forget. Being part of the film was life changing in a way and a motivation to keep pursuing her passion as an independent artist. She still teaches "Paint like van Gogh" workshops in Westminster once a month with Art Supply Warehouse.
Currently, Charlene creates paintings and exhibits in her studio, called STUDIO 15, in North Park, San Diego at Art on 30th and all over California. She also illustrates children's books, coloring books as well as novels and other literary works. Three children's books have been published in 2018 and many more are to be published this coming year. A literary novel, she illustrated has just been published in January 2019. As an independent artist, Charlene works with clientele worldwide, from the US, UK, to Australia and other places, shipping out commissioned paintings as big as 12 × 8 feet.
Q&A with Charlene Mosley
What concept or narrative is behind your work?
My oil and watercolor paintings combine the organic flow of facial gestures and expressions paired with plant elements and subtle geometric shapes. My work reflects observations and thoughts on the relationship between a media-driven society and its ever-changing relationship to technology and nature. Through the use of the expressively painted human form and portrait, sometimes androgynous, and pixelated plant elements weaving in and out of it, I can create a relatable and universal vision of the two realities we live in; natural verse artificial. Although my work has an overarching concept, I am always intrigued by other people‘s reactions and interpretations.
How true are you to your artist statement?
I am fairly true to my artist statement but allow myself enough room to venture and experiment in order to grow and evolve in my concepts and technique.
Do you ever venture out of your creative process to try out new things?
Yes, I do. I believe that it is necessary to challenge myself in different ways and not get stuck in one way of painting, drawing or thinking, but to be able to have flexibility if I choose to. I think that all of these experiences feed into personal growth and development.
What other artists have you shown with?
I have shown with other locally known and established national and international artists, some I have worked with in Poland on the film, Loving Vincent.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by other artists, people around me, and music. I am inspired by landscapes and nature and go out to enjoy it in all its forms; especially being based in California.
Explain your process.
My process begins with inspiration and sketching ideas. That can happen anywhere outside, running an errand, traveling or meeting people. Many times at night. After that, I generally create drawings and refine my ideas on canvas, which I end up covering in paint. Sometimes, I adhere exactly to the drawings, other times I find myself developing new ideas as I paint and apply those spontaneously.
Which was your breakthrough piece? Tell us more about it.
My breakthrough piece was a painting created a couple of years ago, that sold in its first exhibit. It was a 72” × 24” oil painting depicting a boy I had seen on the bus one day and gotten a quick sketch from on our long ride. I later used that to create a collage of him gazing at his phone, his ears plugged with music and his body intertwined with succulents and other plant material. I used a color palette that reflected the mood I had experienced at that moment observing him.