I first saw Charlotte's work on The Jealous Curator last month and then in my most recent Hello Wonderful interview Aimée Brown mentioned her as one of the three people she thought we should know about. Charlotte got in touch with me after that and I thought she'd be a perfect person to write about here and I am excited to share the interview with you!
Charlotte's solo exhibition at Arusha Gallery has just finished. Boy would I have loved to have seen it! She will be visiting the US and Canada shortly and I look forward to meeting up with her when she visits Vancouver. Can't the Internet be a great place?
Who are you, what do you do and where in the world are you?
My name's Charlotte Keates, I'm a London based artist. I am about to embark on a big inspiration trip across the States and Canada for the next few months...
What do you believe in?
I believe in doing what you love. If you can go through life enjoying what you are doing on a daily basis and then make a living from it, then for me that is the dream - obviously I also believe in a lot of hard work, determination, passion and kindness..all things that help you along the way.
When do you feel your most wonderful?
When I'm by the sea. It has a way of making everything else seem so insignificant and it's that feeling of contentness and happiness when the sun is shining and you are looking out at the water...if I happen to have a sketchbook nearby that is just wonderful!
What is something wonderful that has happened that would have never have happened if you hadn't made a mistake or a wrong turn somewhere?
When I start a painting I initially apply a ground to the panel before painting the subject. This was something I stumbled upon purely by chance, a happy result to a trial actually. I was painting with egg tempura some time ago, and in using what is a hugely frustrating painting medium, you have to initially prepare the surface of the boards; layering and coating it with a traditional gesso; a mix of rabbit skin glue and french chalk. I inadvertently used the wrong measurements, the kind of ridiculous mistake like putting salt in a cake instead of sugar … needless to say the boards were unusable for the egg tempura, so I was left with all these redundant prepared surfaces.
I tried painting on them and just fell in love with the way the paint fed into the ground, and the smooth fragility of the surface. Next I experimented with a more uneven and painterly built-up effect that just really worked.
What is the earliest time in your life that you can remember experiencing wonder?
My grandma was an extremely creative woman and she always use to say to me when I was little how she found it interesting that colours never clashes in nature and in what we see around us outside...I was very young but we both shared a love for colour and this always use to make me think... It still does now.
Who are three wonderful people you think we need to know about?
Only three? Ok...
My favourite painter of all time - Mamma Andersson (a Swedish artist who I had the pleasure of meeting a few years ago at her private view in London)
David Doran and Jon Doran, one is a wonderful illustrator - http://www.daviddoran.co.uk
The other a wonderful painter - http://jondoran.co.uk
And Ben Edmunds