Charlotte Mann Lee was born in Columbia, MD in 1996. She is currently an artist at Long Reach Studios and was the 2019-2020 Emerging Artist Resident at the Howard County Center for the Arts in Ellicott City, MD. She has exhibited in various shows such as Persona (July 2019), HoCo Open 2020 (January 2020), LAG Open (March 2020) and HCCA’s Resident Visual Artist Exhibit (July 2020). In July 2019, she received the Carol Zink Open Paint Award after participating in the Paint It! Ellicott City Open Paint temporary exhibition. In May 2018, she graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Studio Art (Honors, Advanced Specialization in Painting) and Art History from the University of Maryland College Park. She was a member of the UMD Art Honors Program for the 2017-2018 school year and completed her thesis work, entitled, “A Would-be Perfectionist’s Pursuit of Joy Through Faith and Painting,” in Spring 2018. Charlotte lives and works in Columbia, MD.
Being a quiet, introverted person, I often feel an imaginary barrier between myself and other people. While I desire to connect with others and share a piece of myself with them, this simple human need often goes unfulfilled. Perhaps this explains my need for creative expression through art. In this expressive act, painting is an outpouring of my soul. As the brush flicks in my hand and paint oozes out onto the canvas, so I pour myself out as an offering of thanks to God, praising Him for the gifts He has given me. Where I have difficulty connecting with others, painting gives me an avenue to express myself and share who I am in the truest, most authentic way I know. My self-portraits serve as an introvert’s look into self. I can share with others what’s inside, and by addressing personal experiences, I can open a forum for others to be honest about their own experiences, whether similar or different. In my Biblical names’ portraits, I expand those experiences to encompass my literal subjects’ faith stories, the original meaning of the behind their names, and their Biblical namesakes’ lives, playing with the intersections between the three through incorporation of the Biblical (Hebrew or Greek) text, fluid, expressive drips in the background and my living subjects’ faces. In my plein air pieces, I search for the unseen atmosphere of a place through my personal impressions of it, which I record with the flick of my brush. I want to show not only what is on the surface, but also what is beneath, what is unseen, the underlying, spiritual side of life. Hence, I use a somewhat abstract, reactionary process in terms of color, texture, and stroke to communicate feeling and emotion in my work. Portraiture, plein air, and abstract painting processes allow me to express and communicate these truths, to share my personal testimony of the spiritual realities of my life in Christ amidst varied emotions, and the highs and lows of daily life.