Charli Ornett has been interested in how words and pictures go together since she was a kid and drew all the characters and landscapes of the novels she wanted to write before ever putting a word to the page. For obvious reasons this English major gravitated to the making of images more than works of literature.
“Going is Knowing” is part of Charli’s ongoing series “The Universe Could Hum,” which she has been working on since 2014. It’s inspired by the poetry of Theodore Roethke. The overall feeling she gets from his poetry, of being in both the earthly world and the transcendent world, moves through her while she paints.
Charli’s medium is encaustic: beeswax, Damar resin and pigment heated to 180º. Working with this molten mixture, Charli builds up layers and textures then scrapes the cooled paint back to reveal the hidden history of process, place and form. Charli explains, “I’m fascinated with the tension between the definite and the amorphous that place where a hard edge or line meets the soft and yielding.”