Multi-medium – Charlotte Oxenburgh shares her artistic journey
See more of Charlotte’s work at www.charlotteoxenburgh.artweb.com
Being an artist
Please give us a few words of introduction about yoursel
About me? Let’s see… I’m incredibly British, and apparently charmingly rude and/or crude. Artistically, people are amazed that I can actually work delicately because as a person I’m loud and tend to flail when I’m excited.
When did you decide to pursue art as a career?
When I was younger, I wanted to be an artist. Say, about 9. Then my uncle told me that it was a stupid idea. Then, at 15, I realised I was decent at it and was going to study embroidery. At 17 I decided that I preferred painting and applied to university to study it. From then on, it was a pretty standard formation of do degree and graduate.
What training did you have?
I’ve gone through GCSE, A Level and undergraduate degree level art, so far. At the moment, I am doing a Masters degree, but I will always practice my art as without it I think there might be explosions.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
Being asked to do the Northern Graduate’s exhibition in London after my degree show.
What’s your favourite quote?
The voyage of discovery lies not in seeing new countries, but in having new eyes.
Who is your favourite artist?
Van Gogh. Probably a well used name, but there’s something about his work that makes my mouth water with glee.
What are you aiming for?
Being able to stand in a gallery, with my own work, sipping a glass of champagne and thinking ‘I did it’.
How will you get there?
A lot of hard work.
Is anything holding you back?
Currently? Myself and some self doubt.
You and art
What feelings or reactions do you hope to arouse in people who view your work? Are you ever surprised by reactions that you get?
I want people to have their own reactions to my work. Yes, I have my own ideas whilst I’m making my work, but other people’s reactions and thoughts as to what my work means is fascinating and could help me work on something new.
From start to finish, how long does it take for you to create your work?
It depends on the work! It can be from 5 hours to a week! I’ve not made anything big enough for it to take longer, yet.
What music do you like to listen to when you work?
It depends. Usually, it’s something like Sonata Arctica, The Ting Tings, Rammstein, something with a good beat and noise that I can get lost in, usually in contrast to the detail of what I’m doing.
What are you working on next? Any future plans or projects in the pipeline that we should look out for?
I want to work on more paintings, obviously, and to take what I did with my engravings and expand on size and details.
Being inspired by art
Who (living or dead) inspires you? and why?
Honestly, it sounds so cheesey and contrived, but it has to be my Dad. He’s always pushed me to be the best me that I can be, introducing me to music and politics and attempting to introduce me to cricket. He used to be on television in Australia, and made documentaries in the seventies and eighties. There’s something amazing about a man who did all of that, and yet is totally chilled, a wonderful dad, and makes the best chips I’ve ever eaten in my life.
What feelings, subjects or concepts inspire you as an artist?
I think the main feeling I feel in my art and what inspires me is yearning. It’s not for anything in particular, and I don’t know why, but the feeling of yearning makes me want to create. There’s also this bubbling, fizzing feeling of excitement which when felt has to be channelled into an idea. It’s very hard to explain and if I did I would probably sound mad.
What is your favourite work that you’ve produced so far and why?
Probably a painting called Alight. It’s not on this website, and is currently for sale in Manchester. It’s an oil painting of a deer under a tree, which is actually a real image I saw in Tatton Park in the summer of 2011. I love the texture in the paint and how even though it’s impressionistic it still captures that feeling of ‘…a BIRD on it’s back?!’ that I felt.
an artist’s advice
For those thinking about turning a passion for art into a career, could you give any advice?
Literally, never stop. Don’t stop sketching out ideas, don’t stop thinking or dreaming. No matter how many times you get rebuffed or feel like it’s going no where, just have a quick mope and then try and see a way around it. There’s ALWAYS a way around it.
Any tips on how to get your work seen and get the commissions coming in?
Get business cards printed; you never know when you’ll need them. Put random words into the tags of your images so they pop up on searches. Contact businesses and companies; you’d be amazed how many of them will be willing to show your work in a professional capacity even if they wont buy it. It doesn’t just have to be galleries you show in.