Phyllis CharlesLike Species
Growing up in Puerto Rico, I have lived the larger part of my life in the Caribbean and South America. I lived for 25 years in upstate New York as a fiber artist and designer working in batik, soft sculpture and art quilting. After moving to St. Croix, USVI in 1989, I spent the next twelve years as a volunteer at St. George Botanical Garden where I developed an abiding interest and love of tropical plants, later reflected in my paintings.
After retiring from the Botanical Garden I began painting, learning techniques from local St Croix artists. I showed my work at the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts and had solo shows at the Walsh Gallery and the Top Hat Gallery. I was a founding member of the Artists Guild of St Croix and helped develop and implement The Art Show at Canegata where I exhibited until 2018 when Hurricane Maria prevented the show.
In 2019, I moved to Cape Cod, Massachusetts and was seduced by the magic of the toys available to mixed media artists. I abandoned reality to play with collage, stencils, markers, pencils, crayons, gels, pastes and sprays. My paintings have many layers, and the various media layers are sometimes evident and sometimes hidden, merely enhancing and modifying subsequent layers. Animals have been the focus of my ongoing series “Like Species,” a title inspired by Miss Piggy. My animals have assertive poses with a gazes directed towards the viewer, sometimes challenging, sometimes judgmental, sometimes inviting. I hope that the viewer will engage with my creatures and will find my paintings provoking and sometimes amusing.