We’re excited to introduce you to Charlene Kolesnik, a local Calgary artist, from Charkole Designs. Check out our interview with Charlene and see more of her beautiful and colourful artwork below. 

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Our Top Pick: Moraine Lake & The Valley Of The Ten Peaks

When did you open your Etsy shop?

May, 2022.

What inspired you to start your business?

I have always been interested in all things creative and although my background is in journalism, I soon realized that my passion was in the layout and design within that industry. Jumping forward 20 years, I enjoyed a successful career as a graphic designer with the opportunity of designing prominent publications and special projects for a major publishing company in Calgary for the past 10 years.

It wasn’t until we moved into our current home, that I started to have this burning desire to start painting. I believe my home was one of the biggest inspirations for me to begin my career as an abstract landscape artist. I call it my “Cabin in the Woods” which overlooks beautiful Douglas fir trees on a gorgeous nature reserve on the western edge of the City of Calgary.

Time passed quickly and before I knew it, I was given the opportunity to have a month-long art exhibit at a local restaurant in one of Calgary’s thriving communities, Kensington. Family and friends kept telling me that I needed to get serious about selling my art. I thought that they were just being nice until strangers started contacting me out of the blue, asking me if my paintings were for sale and if I had a website. One thing led to another, and here I am, living the dream.

How would you describe your business?

Born and raised in Alberta, I have always had such overwhelming respect and regard for the gorgeous and vast landscapes this province has to offer. It is my mission to capture swirling mountains, far reaching trees, colourful lakes and cotton candy skies, creating a style that I can call my own.

This style is built upon the use of brilliant colours, depths and just a plain old burning passion to get lost in the moment of creating.

My process is pretty simple. Before I begin a painting, I like to sit and meditate on it for a little while. Then, once I am in a creative state of mind, I write positive affirmations on my blank canvas in very light, acrylic paint. Sometimes only one or two affirmations come to mind and other times I have many. This gets me into a very positive and loving frame of mind to begin my painting. I also like to believe that by putting my positive notes out there, the universe somehow scoops them up and shows them to whomever is open to receiving. Paintings are personal and have the ability to call to an inner soul. I honestly feel that when I am creating each piece of art, that all of the beautiful particles of the world’s light and love somehow swirl up into the paints on my brush, and onto the canvas of my original collections.

I think what makes my art unique is that I live, work and play in most of my landscapes. They are all near and dear to me and I absolutely love to paint each and every one of them. My love of colour and abstract interpretation, I believe, is what makes my art unique. Even though most paintings are of real local landscapes, I am able to be free to create them in my own mind that people can relate and make a connection to.

What’s your bestselling product?

I sell mostly original paintings so I would say that my Three Sisters Mountains are extremely popular. That is equally true with my prints — Sisterly Magic is the most popular by far and then Moraine Lake a close second.

Best Selling Product: Sisterly Magic

Why do you think it’s so popular?

I think these are particularly popular listings because the landscapes are well-known and people tend to like my use of colour and interpretation of areas they have visited and/or frequent often. Those who love my paintings always tend to comment on how vibrant the colours are and how the painting makes them smile. I think a lot of people can relate to these scenes and create their own interpretations

We hope you enjoyed getting to know Calgary, AB artist Charlene Kolesnik a little more.

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