Charmaine's World

Backdrop

Charmaine Johnson Putnam graduated from Red River College in 1982, studying graphic design and illustration.  Before raising three children and renovating her brain for the digital world, she worked as a crest designer and silkscreen artist in the garment industry.  Charmaine is employed as a community resource worker in Winnipeg and continues to create paintings, commissioned portraits, picture books, political cartoons and poetry.  Alliteration seems to follow her like a lap dog. Charmaine has exhibited at Manitoba Art Expo 

and a few bricks-and-mortar galleries in the city.

And so it begins...

"You start drawing with fudgsicles, then discarded lipstick samplers on the insides of sugary cereal boxes.  I tore through the neighbourhood in my 'kini with the rest of the under-supervised, hunting through construction sites for red chalk, marking up the sidewalks with hopscotch and craziness. In blizzards, we'd bob around like lunar astronauts, carving hieroglyphics on space stations with sharp chunks of ice gripped in frozen garbage mitts.  My parents and older siblings were creative in a variety of ways and greatly influenced my appreciation for all kinds of art.  Cartoonist and writer Pamela Johnson is my earliest and dearest mentor.  Other artists who inspired me as a youngster included Ernie Coombs (Mr. Dressup), Arthur Rackham, Beatrix Potter, Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), Tasha Tudor, Norman Rockwell, Louise Fitzhugh, Michelangelo and Leonardo (not the turtles).  It took one primary school teacher to shake my confidence to the core after I cut out my painted butterfly incorrectly, and a high school substitute teacher to build it back up again with one kind remark.  To both, I am eternally grateful." 

Imagine...

fascination 

with the resilience of 

nature and families, 

the power of objects 

to unlock memories 

and the enigma of 

words and photos 

that reveal a 

snapshot of 

the infinite.

After that,

nonsense

all 

the 

way 

down.

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