Gothic Bite Magazine often shared the work of a wonderful beloved author, Jane Jordan. Most recently, she brought to our attention the work of her daughter. Now, her art has grown beyond belief!
Who Is Charlotte Jordan
Sarasota artist, Charlotte Jordan was born in Michigan. As a child, she moved to England for six years and lived on the dramatically beautiful Exmoor in the South West of England. Being surrounded by natural elements and animals, gave her a passion for drawing.
Her love of art was nurtured during high school art classes, where she developed her creative style.
After returning to Florida in 2013, she completed fine art and illustration courses at the Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota. Here she learned how to analyze, evaluate, and focus on her strengths while building a stronger portfolio to showcase her work.
ALEXA WAYNE (A.W.): When did you find out you were an artist?
CHARLOTTE JORDAN: Art was something that I had always done. So really, it’s more of a when did I realize that I was going to be creating art for the rest of my life, kind of question.
I have grown up in a very creative family, and I have been surrounded by this energy all my life. I must have been around twelve years old and living in England when I had this realization.
I just knew that art would forever be apart of me. Little did I know that it would envelop my very being and drove me to where I am today. Which, of course, is pursuing a full-time art career.
A.W.: What medium of art do you use and those you prefer?
CHARLOTTE JORDAN: I have experimented with many different mediums in the past. During my high school years, I loved trying new things and seeing what worked.
Eventually, I settled with watercolors as my primary medium. The reason I chose watercolor was for its convenience. Being able to carry it around with ease and practically paint everywhere with it.
However, it was only recently that I made the change to acrylics. I had used acrylics before, but that was during my high school experimental phase. It was different this time. I had fallen in love with the thick, buttery paint and its versatility.
It was eye-opening and much more fun. Watercolors can be frustrating at times with its inability to cover up or layer areas of a painting. Being the thicker paint they are, acrylics can be much more enjoyable to work with during the painting process.
Of course, I still enjoy working with other mediums such as gouache and polymer clay to take a break from acrylic.
A.W.: Since when have you known you liked the more Gothic and Grotesque—in a beautiful way—form of art?
CHARLOTTE JORDAN: I have always enjoyed the darker, more sinister side of things. Whether it is from nature or books, movies, and other mysteries in life. Having lived in England during my younger years, I was lucky enough to have visited many old castles and manor houses that claimed to be haunted by restless spirits.
I lived in a 500-year-old thatched cottage where superstitions were buried deep in the walls, and the gardens always had mysteries and ruins to explore. We later moved into an old farmhouse that sat right next door to a graveyard and southern England’s rustic moorland. So I have never lived without the sinister superstitions or ancient magic that England is steeped in.
My work reflects that sinister yet beautiful appearance. You can see it in the colors and sometimes the glare in the animals’ eyes. That is one of the reasons that I love to paint cats.
The mystery and power that surrounds them can be both beautiful and sinister. They can symbolize both life and death, light and dark, good and evil.
A.W.: Do you study art in school, or are you learning on your own?
CHARLOTTE JORDAN: I have always considered myself to be a self-taught artist. Although I did spend a small amount of time learning at the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota during a month-long intensive course.
Over the years of working on my skill and painting repeatedly, I have picked up my own techniques for creating semi-realistic paintings. So much of what I have learned comes from practice and studying art in my own way.
Learning from the artists that I admire and applying that to my own paintings. Experimenting with themes, concepts, styles, and mediums, I have become very versatile in the art world, to the point where I actually teach and share the knowledge that I have through several online platforms.
A.W.: I have seen much of your art being physical. Are you considering joining the digital world?
CHARLOTTE JORDAN: I have, in fact, played around with digital art, and I certainly love to toy around with photography and video editing. However, nothing can compare to the authenticity of a real painting.
The weight of a canvas, the grip on a brush. Or the feel of paint dripping down my hands as I work through my creative process. It feels real to me. And that is something that will not change.
A.W.: What is it about Gothic art that attracts you and inspires you the most?
CHARLOTTE JORDAN: As I’ve mentioned before, my English upbringing is steeped in old haunted castles and mysterious moorlands. I remember roaming around the heavily gothic-inspired cathedrals and abbeys, allowing my imagination to run wild.
The word gothic often refers to European architecture during the 12th century. However, the term gothic for me has always been an atmosphere or a feeling. Something that I can tap into and allow it to swallow me. Gothic art makes me feel complete.
It focuses on death and the decay of life in a refined manner. It shifts the relationships between all living things. I have always been drawn to the darker side of life.
I genuinely believe that you can not live a real-life without acknowledging the darker side of things. Reality is brutal and gothic art often has these messages buried within it.
A.W.: Which artists influenced your work or inspired you to become an artist?
CHARLOTTE JORDAN: A few artists are around my age, which I admire and inspire me for many reasons. Jonna Hyettinen is a fantastic watercolor artist who paints animals like me. Her work stunned me the first time I saw them, and I fell in love with her paintings and use of color. If I could buy every painting in her possession, I would.
Another artist would be Happy D. Artist. She inspired me in other ways. I never even thought of attempting to run my own art business if it wasn’t for her. She motivated me to pursue my own full-time art career, and she really instilled the thought of “If she can do it, then so can I.” Her work is also sinister and fantasy-driven, with plenty of mermaids. Very inspirational to me.
The final artist I will mention is Tanya Shatseva, a Russian artist who works in acrylics. Her work is very surreal and dark. Not only do I love her works, but also her mind and perception of the world. She taught me a fundamental lesson as an artist, and that was to always be yourself.
Paint what you want to paint, not what people think you should. She helped me tap into the sinister side of my mind and start creating what came from within.
A.W.: What was your reaction when you learned you would have your first art exposition?
CHARLOTTE JORDAN: The first art that was ever exhibited was during a high school event at the North Sarasota county art show. I felt incredibly excited and fulfilled.
After that, I had the same elated feeling for every show and exhibition that would make my heart well up with joy. Since then, I’ve recently achieved an artist’s dream of getting my work up in a gallery.
The Art Gallery of downtown Sarasota next to the Lemon Tree Café. It was one of those moments in life that was somewhat unexpected for me. I had only gone there to work with an international art dealer, but I didn’t think he would display a complete selection of my work right up on the wall.
I can say I feel proud of myself for coming this far with my artistic career. I hope to continue showcasing my work in many more galleries in the future.
A.W.: Do you live a more Gothic life, or is it only your art?
CHARLOTTE JORDAN: Of course, I lived a gothic life while I was in England. Living amongst the remnants of magic that people long ago had practiced. Witchcraft, paganism, druids, lords, and ladies of the great houses covered the land where we lived.
However, things are different in Florida. America is not as old as England. So I am not surrounded by the reminders of darker times, but I have always enjoyed gothic clothing, books, and, of course, paintings.
It has a way of working itself into my art. People tend to say that I have a warped mind. It is merely my inner darkness emerging just a little bit.
A.W.: This is not your first time over at Gothic Bite Magazine, so what can readers look forward to from Charlotte Jordan in 2021?
CHARLOTTE JORDAN: There are many things that I do to build and keep my art career growing. I want to work harder, not only on my business but also on myself.
I want to keep delving into what makes me tick and pull out the reminiscence, the nostalgia, and the feelings buried within. I will be putting a lot of energy into creating a particular series of work that shows my English upbringing memories.
This series will be called “Homeland” and reflect my past and what it was like to grow up near the moors and enchanting forests of England. Of course, there are plenty of paintings in the works and many other series to come.
Another aspect that I will also focus on is my teaching side. I have really come to enjoy this and want to build on my skills as a teacher. I want to help others with their artistic abilities and grow a community of talented and hard-working people.