Charissa Owens, an abstract and expressionist artist, is a native of Alexandria, Louisiana. She grew up in a large, close knit family, spending a lot of time outside, as she always loved nature. Inspired by the colors and textures in the world around her, she is thankful that Louisiana has always been her home because it affords her an incredible and diverse palette from which to learn and grow.
Charissa, always being fascinated by art, consistently worked with her hands and created! This began in elementary school when her uncle, an architect, gave an art lesson to her class and then continued to share his love of drawing and art with her. She would sit on his drafting table and draw flowers as he taught her techniques and gave her inspiration. She studied art in high school and cultivated it further in college, ultimately earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. Upon graduation, she worked as a Graphic Designer for 4 years, then pursued her other passion of teaching children and taught Kindergarten in the Rapides Parish School System.
As an educator, Charissa prioritized making school fun for her students and kept her love of art alive by incorporating it into her daily routine of teaching reading and math. While taking a year off from teaching, she worked as the graphic designer and marketing & social media manager for a start-up clothing company called Souk Indigo. This experience reawakened more of her creative side and a desire to continue on this artistic journey. Charissa returned to teaching and was able to combine her love of art with teaching children, by now serving as a Talented Visual Arts educator for the Rapides Parish school system. She is passionately focused on growing the love of art for our next generation of artists.
In between being a wife to Reldon Owens, a mother to 3, and working her full-time job as an art teacher, she finds time to create in the evenings and on the weekends in her home studio and in her studio at River Oaks Arts Center. Charissa began her art career by hand painting pillows with nature scenes in 2020, and since then, has been commissioned to create multiple abstract, watercolor, and multimedia pieces that are now on display in homes and businesses throughout the state and beyond the borders of Louisiana. Her artwork incorporates a soft color palette that is infused with a sense of elegance, peace and serenity. She explores delicate layering of muted colors and works with a myriad of hues, tones, tints, and shades. As an artist she strives for each individual piece to portray a sophisticated elegance and simplicity that brings warmth to wherever it is displayed.
Her love for Art History, textiles, and fashion has some influence, but her main inspiration comes from her past years as a graphic designer and a love of the textures found in nature. She often sees composition and patterns on objects in the world around her that find their way onto her canvas in new and different ways. She loves the continuously evolving process of multimedia layering by using a variety of unexpected tools and creating slight hints of the underpainting that peep out in the piece. “Art is what I live and breathe in my everyday life, constantly striving to capture the wonder of what I see to share with others. I draw inspiration from simple things in life that create complex, delicate, and intricate patterns. I feel keen observation, spontaneity, and intuition are key factors to my creative process.”
Most recently, she had a piece featured in the PAUSE exhibit at the Alexandria Museum of Art, The Artists Spotlight Show at River Oaks Arts Center, and will be featured in the online gallery with The Scouted Studio.