Fine Art Friday: Charmaine Olivia and How She Breaks the "Tortured Artist" Myth

Charmaine Olivia is very colorful and deeply mystical and so is her art. This young American artist grew up in Southern California with her parents, who are extremely spiritual people. She started practicing yoga and meditation with them since she was four years old. In the summertime, she would go to meditation camp to study intuition and metaphysics. Her parents strongly encouraged her interests in the arts and by the tender age of 17, she was already a self-taught professional painter.

Mysticism and spirituality heavily influence her life and her art. Charmaine’s drawings and paintings feature an array of beautiful, ethereal beings (like fairies, mermaids and muses), who appear to be surrounded by flowers, rainbows and magic. She draws inspiration from her own imagination and from real life models. Sometimes, she even models her characters after herself, though she insists they are not self-portraits. “I maybe have one that I can honestly say is a self-portrait. I’ll use my form for the base of the painting, if anything. It’s the female form I use.”

Her palette consists of mostly vibrant colors, combined with soft pastels. These colors often match her own outfits, hair or body art. Yes, Charmaine (most of the time) has multi-colored locks, owns a pair of butterfly-fairy wings and rocks mermaid bikinis to the beach! Ms. Olivia is a lot of fun, but she is also highly meditative and introspective. It comes as no surprise that she is also a yoga instructor.

Charmaine faces personal difficulties with great maturity and understanding. Her father’s passing was a horrible but beautiful experience for her. She genuinely looks for beauty in every situation, as artists do. Fear, loss and heartbreak inspire her; whatever arises, she is positive she will work through it. In Charmaine’s own words, she is “very passionate about being happy.”

Artist Charmaine Olivia

Sometimes pain, grief and suffering are not the inspiration behind great art.