Charlene George was not only influenced by the Indiana artists of the late 1890s known as the Hoosier Group, she was inspired firsthand by their Hermitage in Franklin County.
“Before T.C. Steele moved to the Nashville area, he and J. Ottis Adams brought a lot of painters to study the beautiful landscapes of Franklin County,” Charlene says. “My uncle posed for Adams as a young child and later bought the house that Adams and Steele owned. There is a lot of history.”
Charlene started her painting career more than 30 years ago, studying at Ball State and later pursuing a master’s degree in fine art with a focus on the old Renaissance masters. She incorporates Renaissance techniques into her art to create depth, detail and luminosity in her oil and pastel paintings.
“I try to use the old painting techniques to portray contemporary subject matter. I’m not sure if you ever really learn them. They are so complicated with so many materials,” Charlene says.
Her subject matter consists mainly of organic still life, gardens, farm animals, people, landscapes from rural Indiana, and biblical scenes.
“We live on a farm. When you live with that, it becomes what you like to paint. I’m not interested in painting any place else. That would not be true to me,” she says.
In the last five years, Charlene has done more pastel work because she finds it lends itself to outdoor studies. She also enjoys plein air painting in the fall.
Her work can be found in permanent collections as well as in galleries and exhibitions across the state.
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