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Style Magazine

Charlie Asher

Apr 30, 2010 05:00PM ● By Style

Photo by Dante Fontana

Inspired to create, Charlie Asher once copied great impressionist works of art but now creates his own masterpieces.

From the time he was a young boy, he wanted to create windows of color and light, windows that people would look through to see another world. He sought to create vibrant works of art that drew people in and made them think.

He recalls when he was five years old the first time that a painting affected him and inspired him to create. “In my aunt’s old farmhouse, on the wall by the table, there hung a lithograph of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers,” he recalls. “I never forgot that painting and now always strive to capture the essence of it, to reproduce the color and light of a subject.”

Asher started out by copying works of art, especially the impressionists, including Van Gogh, who is his favorite artist of all time. He would spend hours sketching and copying different paintings. Asher loved to draw so much that he built a drawing table that would fit over a chair so when his family gathered in the living room, he could draw.

Upon graduation, Asher immediately entered the workforce and put aside his dreams of being a traditional artist. He worked for the phone company for 30 years as a “troubleshooter.” He says it’s a great job for a would-be artist because in order to be a good troubleshooter, people must conceptualize the problem before it can be solved. “You must see the reality,” Asher says. “And reality is the first part of my concept of art. Reality filtered through dreams; so I spent 30 years looking at reality and its troubles.”

Asher moved to Folsom 29 years ago after growing up in San Francisco. He wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of big city life. Upon retiring from the phone company, he went back to his art. According to him, “it was time for a change.” And it was time for Asher to interpret what he’d seen over his lifetime.

Having studied under a few Californian artists, including Cleide Sanders, Anita Wolff and Mike Bagdonas, Asher paints visions captured by his imagination. He likes to paint a variety of places, people and things including a sultry look, a child’s playful glance, a sunny scene along a rushing river, the wind moving through trees, and the sun shimmering on the water. “After the vision captures my imagination, I dream about it and attempt to paint it with pure color, bright light, movement and mood,” he says.

Asher paints with a palette knife because he is able to lift and apply pure color with it easier than with a brush. A knife also creates texture quicker and easier. He paints with oils to achieve the richness of the colors and the texture of the medium. “I create with oils a vision of life that I hope people will see, relate to and enjoy,” says Asher.

For more information about Charlie Asher’s work, visit