Charlene Nield


Charlene Nield joined the art world as a painter a little over 5 years ago and quickly gained acceptance, awards and accolades with works juried into shows throughout the United States and found in collections in the states and abroad. She was juried into the Torpedo Factory Artists Association (TFAA) in 2017. Her work is shown at Foundry Gallery in Washington, DC and in Alexandria at the Art League's Gallery 75, TFAA's Gallery 311, and at Mosaic Gallery in Fairfax, VA. Work can also be seen in Studio 316 at the Torpedo Factory Art Center.

Charlene also paints and shows collaboratively with Ann Pickett. Their most recent show was reviewed by The Washington Post: In form, Nield seems to dominate. The four-handed works look more like her solo one: representational, expressionist and punctuated with collaged patterns that range from simple lines to elaborate floral motifs. Yet the color sense of Pickett’s abstraction is evident in the pictures, which mostly portray women. Other compositions, which sometimes stretch across paired canvases, portray a snake charmer and a dog whose mostly orange coat incorporates many other hues. Like most of the duo’s subjects, the animal has a playful immediacy that owes as much to gesture as to recognizable image.

Artist Statement

I entered the art world as a painter through the back door. After years as an avid collector, I was encouraged to pick up a brush and my world became a different place.

My acrylic and oil works rely heavily on a colorful and abstract underpainting which becomes evident in the rich texture and visible at the edges of my subjects. While perhaps appearing simplistic in form, there is a complexity and colorful history below the surface. I work almost exclusively with a palette knife on board and develop a unique relationship with each painting. In the end, while most viewers focus on the subject, I see those unique places where the underpainting shows at an edge.

Recently I started exploring encaustics as way to explore both the inner and outer world and build a unique reference and memory of a particular moment in time. Working in this medium has opened new and wonderful paths of expression with my mission to draw the viewer into my adventure and evoke an emotional response. My approach is two dimensional – first to create a work in watercolor, charcoal or mixed media and then encaustic wax. This allows the luminous quality of the wax to reveal the jewel-like transparent watercolor or accentuate the contrast of black and white and at the same time conceal it in the layers of wax. The final work is dramatic in its lush texture and deep optical sense of presence.

Arriving as an artist through the back door has it’s advantage - the keen realization that the relationship with a work of art is a most wonderful and dynamic encounter. The relationship changes with the light and time of day with new and exciting things to discover that catch your eye at the edges or buried in the wax.

Charlene’s website