It has been a warm day. By now a cool breeze has picked up and is moving away the warmth of the day. It is around 7pm, and the City Market in Charleston is bustling with people. Chelle Fazal is part of the Night Market and has her paintings set up here. She has brought out her new jellyfish painting and is looking forward to a great night.
Her journey has required due diligence. It has taken her almost two decades of windy roads, dry spells and hectic schedules to get here. Now a wife, and mother of two boys, Chelle remembers summers at her grandmother's house. Those lazy summers were spent on the screened-in porch with a book in hand.
She will tell you that she could have breakfast for every meal of the day. Dessert can alternate between chocolate and yellow cake with chocolate icing. A perfect day is a day spent reading, painting and spending time with her family.
Chelle Fazal moved to Charleston when she was eleven. She credits the beginnings of her artist's journey to her mom and stepdad. They invested in her by providing the supplies. For her, painting is integral to her life. She feels that it has to be done, feels sometimes as if she is performer and audience at the same time.
Her boys are home-schooled. More and more, time to paint is becoming less and less. The boys are being taught how to learn, so that they can have the skills to pursue knowledge themselves. Reading, writing, math, latin, etc. consume much of the day. Chelle often has to remind herself that this sacrifice of her time is worth their learning. Home school doesn't happen entirely at home, either. There are weekly meetings with other families in the homeschooling community, library excursions, and of course, chess day.
It is getting closer to the end of the night. All along, people have been drawn to Chelle's art by its vibrant color and how she uses it on her subject matter. Her earlier art was more realistic in color and detail. Her current work is more vibrant and slightly abstract. Prints of her art have found homes in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
The massive new jellyfish painting was a crowd-pleaser. Chelle paints mostly wild animals and will probably stay away from painting domesticated cats and dogs. As usual, people ask her where she attended school to learn her skills. She is self-taught. Practice, time, practice, time, repeated over and over. People love her work. It is happy, and it comes from a place of whimsy.
Chelle Fazal has painted on many different objects in her career, from furniture to newspaper boxes.
Her current commission is laying across her dining table.
It is a vintage, two-person timber saw.