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Charlene Murray Zatloukal

Artist's Profile

Someone, whose judgment I 'think' I trust, told me recently..."you're bio is ...'BORING'." So, I reread all of the bios I have out there, all over the place...and she's right....my bio is boring.

"Who cares if you have sold more than 750 original paintings since 2005, or if you have paintings all over the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America?"

She's right AGAIN...

"Tell your collectors about YOU, what makes you think they care how many paintings you've sold, or where they are hanging? I think they'd like to know more about you...who YOU are."

I can't imagine why...but then, I've never really been one to "beat my own drum." Still...I find that I too, am much more interested in the personality behind the painting, rather than the 'accomplishments'. So...I'm rewriting my own bio, to introduce you to ME...rather than what I have done...or not done.

I am self-taught. I grew up in a very small community of 1,000 people. While we did have a public school...we didn't have art classes, girls sports, or a lot of other things most schools offer these days. I 'dabbled' in art, whenever the opportunity presented itself, but I didn't get "serious" until I was confined to bed while carrying my fourth child.

My dear husband, sensing how boring it was to just lie there and look at the same old programs on TV, bought me an art set, some canvas paper and "set me free". I came as close as I could to the paintings on the backs of Reader's Digest magazines. Every member of my family got an original painting for Christmas the following year.

Thirty PLUS years have passed and I have been painting ever since.

Now I am alone, my husband (and best friend in the whole world)passed away a few years ago. I paint to survive. It is what keeps me going..not to mention, it is my only income. I'm not old enough for social security..and it will be a while yet!

I do have six children (five of them live close by) and ten grandchildren ( six live close by.)

They are my sources of inspiration...truly!

Most of the paintings I paint are directly inspired by them..and I include subtle references of them in most of my paintings, especially my Tuscan Landscapes.

Check out the number of trees...if you've nothing better to do. You'll find groupings of two, three and four trees (representative of my grandchildren) in almost every Tuscan Landscape painting that I have painted...before my last grandchild was born...there was one, three and four. You can usually find, six different trees, in most of the same paintings, representative of my children.

Most of the "two tree" paintings I have painted are representative of the love my husband and I shared for almost thirty five years...and the titles are usually reflective of this.

Most of the time, you have only to see the title of a painting to discover what is going on with me and my life.

It has been an extremely difficult few years, having to try to cope and adjust to life on my own.(it wasn't pretty.)

The year before my loss, we spent so much time at chemo and radiation centers, (cancer sucks.)

My husband spoiled me to the point that, I don't think I made a dozen pots of coffee total in the course of thirty five years. He always made coffee and brought me a cup every morning when he woke me up. His very last day at home, even though he could hardly walk on his own...he made coffee and poured me a cup before he woke me up!

I wouldn't be painting today if it weren't for my husband. Not only did he buy my first painting set...he encouraged me for thirty years to make art my career..it just took most of those years to convince me that it was possible.

I really do miss him...

and while my sadness is reflected in many of the paintings I have done in his absence...I have begun to mix in some 'lighter' pieces that reflect the gratitude I have for what I have been given.


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