Curtis Van Charles is a visual artist making artwork inspired by time spent in the Canadian outdoors. His focus is motivating viewers to seek out a their own intimate connection with nature. To date the work of Van Charles narrates an authentic adventure through the Canadian wilderness. Equipped with a backpack and a camera, he travels to the deepest points of the Canadian backcountry to capture images of nature that will later be digitally collaged, applied to wooden supports and detailed with acrylic paint. This process has been his primary focus since leaving his job as a designer in 2012 and it continues to be what inspires him most.
Moving forward, it is Van’s mission to be recognized as an ambassador for the Canadian outdoor experience through his artwork. He aspires to be recognized internationally as an artist that advocates further understanding of the Canadian wild, while promoting conservation and preservation.
Van’s work can be found as prints in his online store, as commissioned work and in the public realm on outdoor murals.
My artwork takes a days hike in nature, chops it up and remixes it with colored graphic shapes and patterns. Vast
landscapes are created by collaging several digital images together. Acrylic paint is used in between each layer
creating atmospheric depth. The result is a surreal and tangible sense of depth like what you would experience
viewing diorama in a natural history museum. This depth combined with blue and gay undertones conjures
feelings of being left alone and exposed in the deepest parts of the Canadian wild. In contrast, graphic shapes in the
foreground are saturated with juicy warm colors inspired by our urban surroundings offering familiarity and a certain
charm. Selected wildlife are the focal point of the composition often found moving in a celebratory and joyful way.