Charles Collins

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When I’m painting it’s like creating an image of the attributes of God, creating the same vibration that created you, like a loop that feeds back to you in a circle of life, with the same resonance.
— Charles Collins

A brown-skinned mother wrapped in a soft, red robe cradles the snowy Taos peaks in her lap, smiling down at them like her earth child. The flow of her robes are the mountainsides. Madre Generosa,the generous mother, is the guiding principle in the most recent work of Charles Collins, whose shining creations transcend painting with an invitation to change our collective consciousness.

“This is a wonderful show, one of Charles’ best,” said museum co-founder Novella Lineberry, of the show, “Triumph of the Spirit”, at the Van Vechten-Lineberry Taos Art Museum in Taos, New Mexico.

Collins, who is best known for his encouragement of other artists through God in the Arts Foundation, said God in the Arts evolved out of a desire to encourage anyone who “believes that all life is like petals on the same flower.”


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about the artist

A brown-skinned mother wrapped in a soft, red robe cradles the snowy Taos peaks in her lap, smiling down at them like her earth child. The flow of her robes are the mountainsides. Madre Generosa,the generous mother, is the guiding principle in the most recent work of Charles Collins, whose shining creations transcend painting with an invitation to change our collective consciousness.

“This is a wonderful show, one of Charles’ best,” said museum co-founder Novella Lineberry, of the show, “Triumph of the Spirit”, at the Van Vechten-Lineberry Taos Art Museum in Taos, New Mexico.

Collins, who is best known for his encouragement of other artists through God in the Arts Foundation, said God in the Arts evolved out of a desire to encourage anyone who “believes that all life is like petals on the same flower.”

Collins has been working on this series of 22 paintings for about three years, he said. Some of them are still lifes and “wind warriors,” but 10 of them are influenced by the book, “Essenes,” painted in the style of the old masters.

The Essenes were members of an ancient Jewish sect of ascetics and mystics who understood that all life is interconnected, that there is no time, Collins said. “We’re all one and the same thing. We just don’t know it,” he said. “The Essenes are the teachings of Christ about the earthly mother and heavenly father, and the oneness of all life everywhere, the never-ending circle.”

Most of his oil paintings are profoundly spiritual and evokes strong sense of peace and timelessness. He begins with a charcoal drawing, adds a thin glaze with a dark color, terra green or burnt umber, which provides the base for light to reflect off. This is covered by an under painting — when his inages in the over painting are complete, he adds up to 30 glazes.

“You can’t hurry it,” he said. “The light bounces off the undertones, illuminating every layer as it bounces back to the eye,” he explained. “Color has become light.”

He has learned most of this on his own, by experimentation, he said, though he has a degree in fine art from the Dallas Art Institute in Texas.

“My work is in collections all over the world,” he said. He is the first Taos artist to have painted an album cover for singer Michael Martin Murphey and another for the international recording artist, Arlo Guthrie. His paingint, “The Ambassadors Meet in Washington,” part of the Van Vechten show, was the first in the 23-year history of Taos Invites Fall Arts Festival to win both Best in Contemporary and Best of Show, Collins said.

Of course, he was thrilled to be invited to show at the Van Vechten-Lineberry Museum. “I want to thank Ed and Novella Lineberry for giving me this wonderful opportunity to share my vision, and their vision too.”


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