Nadine Charlsen was born in Bird City, Kansas. The daughter of an industrial art teacher and an oil painter, Charlsen inherited an artistic legacy. Charlsen received a MFA in Theatre Design from Brooklyn College. She has worked on and off Broadway creating lighting and set designs.
Charlsen's watercolors find their inspiration in her vast personal photographic collection and each is a unique image. Her past experience as a theatrical set and lighting designer has allowed her to incorporate her knowledge of: light and shadow, large and small scale objects, textures and colors, to create an immersive experience for her viewers.
“Works on Paper: International Studies,” an exhibit of Charlsen’s work, is currently on display at Kean University’s Nancy Dryfoos gallery. The collection features opulent interiors and imposing facades ranging from Rome’s Colosseum to the Paris Opera. Despite the grandeur of many of these works, in some ways the images with the most resonance are the humblest.
A sloped figure tows a wheel-barrow along the peat bogs in "Peat & Heathe,r" a richly textured piece evocative of wide open spaces. "i am sent with broom before, to sweep..." depicts Shakespeare’s laundry room and provides a voyeur’s eye view into the Bard’s home, conveying warmth and intimacy along with reverence for its subject.
Watercolors depicting Lisbon’s street-cars, noble European bridges and Abu Dhabi’s Seikh Zayed Grand Mosque are included among the striking travel scenes.
The Nancy Dryfoos Gallery’s summer hours are Monday through Thursday from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM. “Works on Paper: International Studies” will be on display of the Nancy Dryfoos now through August 15th.