Charlie Lyon paints palm trees…
…that bend and sway under swirling clouds. His paintings are meditations on movement. The clouds sail by, changing, lingering, drifting away, while the tree clatters softly. He paints the sky first; spreading, smearing, pushing the paint, until a source of light dominates and a level of movement presents itself. He looks for interesting features of the light and seeks them out with the tree. The created tension causes movement toward, away, and back to those features. He creates the illusion of movement by emphasizing these points of subdued passion. He expands this by using post-functional objects, such as surfboards.
And now, Charlie’s paintings are used by Maui Jim in two Signature Collection of sunglasses for the luxury eyewear market.
When Charlie’s not in the studio, he’s at the beach, where he surfs on all types of boards. If there are no waves to surf, he can be found sailing or paddling an outrigger canoe. “My art,” he says, “is the result of my lifestyle. When I started this body of work, I was looking to streamline my existence, so I did things like stop watching TV. I grew up with the TV on. I decided to turn it off. Without the constant bombardment on my senses, I was able to have more of my own creative thoughts. I started seeing colors better and feeling less anxious. It’s simple.” Similarly, he wants people to slow down when they view his paintings. “A single palm tree,” he says, “is like a whisper heard through a crowd.”
Charlie Lyon was born and raised…
…in California. The son of two artists and the youngest of five, he grew up in a household where art lessons were a part of every day life.
He began his art career painting surfboards for Freeline Design in Santa Cruz, California. His career expanded in the Action Sports Industry to logos, point of purchase displays, T-shirt designs, advertising layouts, and corporate identity projects.
He moved to Maui in 1991, and his career led to publishing. He was the art director and writer of the coffee table book “Jaws Maui” and the illustrator for the young adult graphic novel “Surf Clowns”. He has devoted his work entirely to painting since 2001.
His collection can be seen at Freeborne Fine Art in The Shops at Wailea, Maui.