Robert Charon was only thirteen years old when he had his first solo art show. It was held at a local library, and it was there that he sold his first oil painting. Born in Idaho in 1958, Robert moved to the metro Phoenix area of Arizona at the age of four, and began cultivating his creative mind at a very early age. In high school, he developed a love of watercolors and flourished under the tutelage of a high school teacher who mentored the young artist and “ . . . totally believed in me.”
Robert continued to pursue his art education through college scholarships in Arizona and in Utah, where he attended Brigham Young University. During a break in his undergraduate years, Robert spent two years in Taiwan. There, he developed a passion for Asian tradition and art and learned to speak Chinese.
Robert also logged some time as a waiter and manager in the restaurant business, which was pivotal to his launch into a life of art. It was the feeling of being trapped in the restaurant business that motivated Robert to break out and succeed in the art world.
Robert draws from his experiences in Taiwan and the influence of eastern culture for inspiration as an artist. For him, the splendor of nature and the wonder of the world itself leaves an impression that long outlasts any one artistic movement. Robert is passionate about depicting the brilliances and worth of the subtleties of everyday life. He does not rely on specific movements or periods in art history to drive his own unique style, but does appreciate the fluidity of present day watercolorists. He mentions a partiality to the engrossing detail of Andrew Wyeth’s paintings, and also appreciates the works of Ed Mel. When asked what’s hanging on his own walls right now, Robert says, “Different looks that I have done over the last 30 years.” Robert lives and breathes art—it co-exists with every part of his life.
Robert’s work can best be described as an all-embracing balance of converse yet connected imagery. His works are anecdotes of light and dark; from translucent to opaque; from abstract to realism. His style is diverse and captures life’s nuances in both subtle and dramatic ways. Perhaps it is his understanding of the delicacies in Asian culture that allows such a command of translucence and shading. Whether a graceful watercolor or a resonant color field abstract, Robert’s work evokes a feeling of peace and tranquility. The depth of his paintings calls viewers to reflection; an uninterrupted moment kept for inner thoughts and deeper meanings.
Robert prefers to use the versatile medium of acrylics, which can be used to create opaque surfaces, or diluted with water to create beautiful watercolor styles. Robert would like to experiment with paint on metal surfaces. He describes his style as “Very clean, with clear crisp colors.”
Robert explains his creative process as both planned and spontaneous, always staying open to the happy accidents that can occur when creating new processes. When asked if he is a Felix Unger or an Oscar Madison in the studio, he replied without hesitation, “Oscar Madison! I am one of the messiest artists I know. I will work around the mess for weeks, then finally when I can’t take it anymore, I clean.”
An ardent traveler, Robert is strongly drawn to tropical environments. He particularly loves to visit the Hawaiian islands. Imagery that is reminiscent of his travels often finds it way onto the canvas in the form of lush plant life and blue water shorelines.
Robert hopes that his viewers will gain a feeling of tranquility and harmony from his art. He loves to create pieces that people want to have in their lives. Says the artist, “I love to paint scenes of things that most people pass by without notice. I like helping people find the beauty in everything around them.”
“I love to paint scenes of things that most people pass by without notice.”
I love to paint scenes of things that most people pass by without notice. I like helping people find the beauty in everything around them.
Robert is one of the messiest artists he knows. He’ll work around the mess for weeks, and then, when he can’t take it anymore, he’ll clean.