YabYum Seven: Charmagne Coe

charmagne coe 01Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Charmagne Coe and I am a surrealist. I paint and draw with watercolor, ink and pastel.

How did you get your start?

Growing up, my family was a terra firma of creative, industrious souls, who always encouraged me to pursue my artistic interests. At NAU, I earned a minor in art, then a BA in elementary education. I taught as a public school teacher for nine years and ran a small fiber arts business with my husband for three. In 2008, I began another chapter to follow my artistic roots. While raising my toddlers in Flagstaff, I found myself by their side painting one day, and the feeling was like coming home. I carved a small niche in our utility craft room and continued where I left off in college, exploring painting and drawing in several media. I began showing work in Flagstaff, then later Los Angeles, Phoenix, London and Seattle.

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Diviners, 2016

What inspires you?

Everyone, everything, everywhere inspires me. My work moves in the direction of ideas related to connectedness — connectedness people have with one another, with their ancestors, with nature… what connects them to another, and makes them more real/whole. It’s an earthy topic, but it’s also pretty out there. When I create, my work is spontaneous — usually started with a spark of an idea, a word or a color, etc. Then away I go. I’m constantly being puzzled and surprised in the process. In the end, I have a story comprised of many different intricate elements.

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The Carrier, 2016

What do you like about AZ?

I grew up in mid-town Phoenix in a house built at the turn of the 20th century, and I believe that formed my affinity for the older haunts and architecture in Phoenix. Arizona has a multicultural population with many rich traditions deeply woven into our culture. I feel fortunate that my life is shaped by this diversity. Also, no matter how many times I travel this state with my family, it’s always intriguing how varied the geography and habitats are here. I read that we have almost all of the biomes represented… that’s really wild to think about.

Where can we see you(r) work?

You can view my work at {9} The Gallery, The Artery and online at charmagnecoe.com.

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Locus For One Another, 2016

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

I want to continue to use my abilities to serve my family, friends and community. I always want to stretch my skills as an artist, but still remain authentic to creating work out of love and appreciation for life.

What is your mantra?

It’s a line from the song, “Nature Boy”, by Eden Ahbez:

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return.

~

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When the Lines Disappear, I Am not Afraid With You, 2014
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The Verse of Flora’s Gate, 2017

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