Charissa Owens, a native of Alexandria, LA, grew up in a large, close knit family spending a lot of time outside as she always loved nature. Charissa, always being fascinated by art, consistently worked with her hands and created! This began in elementary school when her uncle, an architect, gave an art lesson to her class and then continued to share his love of drawing and art with her. She would sit on his drafting table and draw flowers as he taught her techniques and gave her inspiration. She studied art in high school and cultivated it further in college, ultimately earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. Upon graduation, she worked as a Graphic Designer for 4 years, Charissa then pursued her other passion of teaching children and taught Kindergarten in the Rapides Parish School System.
As an educator, Charissa prioritized making school fun for her students and kept her love of art alive by incorporating it into her daily routine of teaching reading and math. While taking a year off from teaching, she worked as the graphic designer and social media manager for a start-up clothing company called Souk Indigo. This experience reawakened more of her creative side and she desired to continue on this artistic journey. Charissa returned to teaching and was able to combine her love of art with teaching children, by now serving as a Talented Visual Arts educator for the Rapides Parish school system. She is passionately focused on growing the love of art for our next generation of artists.
In between working her full-time job, sharing life with her husband, and being a mother to three, she finds time to create in the evenings and on the weekends in her home studio and her studio space at River Oaks Arts Center. Charissa began her art career by hand painting pillows with nature scenes, and after great demand, has been creating commissioned abstract, watercolor, and multimedia pieces. Her artwork is inspired by a soft color palette that is infused with a sense of elegance, peacefulness and serenity. Her love for Art History, textiles, and fashion gives some influence, but her main inspiration comes from her past years as a graphic designer and a love of textures found in nature. She often sees composition and patterns on objects in the world around her that lead to the pieces she creates. She loves the continuously evolving process of multimedia layering by using a variety of unexpected tools and creating slight hints of the underpainting that peep out from the piece. Most recently, she had a piece that was featured in the PAUSE exhibit at the Alexandria Museum of Art.