About Char

Char Michelson is a classic on-site painter with influences filtered down from the French Fauves. She paints with the vision, color and verve of such painters as Van Gogh, Vlaminck and Derain.

She was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1944 and attended the University of Kansas where she graduated with a BA in Design and a Minor in Advertising. She spent most of her life traveling and has lived in Europe and in many states in America. After raising their two children, J.T. and Sam, she became an Art Director at an advertising agency in Atlanta, GA. In 1992, after a move to the beautiful central coast of California, she began her lifelong ambition to become an oil painter, painting scenes all along the central coast, from Carmel to Huntington Beach. She now lives and paints in Austin, Texas.

Her paintings grace the homes of many collectors worldwide. She has won many awards for her oil paintings, some of which include the 23rd Annual Faber Birren National Color Award Show, 38th Annual Open National Exhibition of the San Bernardino County Museum, Landscape, International Exhibition, Bold Expressions, 46th Annual International Exhibition.

Michelson paints powerfully, using thick vivid strokes, depicting each scene in wild and beautiful color, with only a suggestion of reality. Ms. Michelson seeks out nostalgic scenes using arbitrary colors, rhythm, and vibration.


New Fauves – 3 Person Art Show, Gallerie at St. Tropez, France
The New Fauves, “Wild Beasts”, San Luis Obispo, California
San Luis Obispo Juried Art Show/Winner, Oils
San Luis Obispo Plein Air Painting Festival
Huntington Beach Plein Air Festival
“Color Fields”, solo exhibit at McConnell Gallery, San Luis Obispo
The 23rd Annual Faber Birren National Color Award Show
38th Annual Open National Exhibition of the San Bernardino County Museum
“The Joyful Colors of the Central Coast”, McConnell Gallery, San Luis Obispo
Galaxy 2002, Juried exhibition, Paso Robles Art Association
Brush Strokes, Twelfth Annual Juried Exhibition, San Luis Obispo
Beauty, Caught, Kept – Cambria Schoolhouse Gallery
Wednesday Irregulars Annual Plein Air Art Show, Van Rhyn Gallery, Cambria
Landscape 2001, International Exhibition, Special Recognition Award, Omaha, Nebraska
Bold Expressions, Northern California Arts Inc., 46 Annual International Exhibition

Artist’s Statement

“Living on the central coast of California where color and beautiful scenery are abundant was a joy in itself. Plein air painting to me is a celebration of our natural world. A statement of color in an abstract sense, with only suggestion of reality is what I’m after. I try to express the scene as powerfully as I can. I get lost out there in my painting and it’s exhilarating.

One of my major influences on my work are the paintings of the Fauves, especially Maurice de Vlaminck and Andre Derain. After moving to Morro Bay in 1998, I began painting with a group of plein air painters from Cambria, “The Wednesday Irregulars” and that turned out to be a very creative experience. I’ve enjoyed painting with my fellow fauve, Ken Christensen. Painting is always an adventure. There’s nothing I’d rather be doing.”

Plein Air Fine Artwork – Landscapes, Florals, Interiors in Oil