Charlotte Kohl

Open My Eyes

Artist Statement

I am an extroverted person. I love adventure, and always look forward to my next experience. I struggle to slow down, rest, and reflect. Many of my artworks during my time at Redeemer have been carefully planned and thought out. I took time to photoshop the image I wanted to paint, and analyze the message I was trying to evoke through the piece. This time, however, I was encouraged to simply let the art speak for itself. This series was a reflective and worshipful experience for me. I wanted to challenge myself to reflect and rest in the presence of God. 

I have so many questions about my faith. I wish that I felt God's presence more in my day to day life, and I want my desire for Him to become stronger. I had questions like: Where is God's presence in my darkness? What can he show me when I rest in him? Where is God when I feel weak? 

With modeling paste I build up textures on the bare canvas, molding the works as God molded me in His image. With thick oil paint I added more texture and color, contrasting dark blues and purples with bright reds and yellows. I added flakes of gold leaf. I crushed them in my hand and blew them into the wet paint, a worshipful representation of "God breathed" creation. I triumphed and struggled with the pieces. Some days I felt distant from my work and from God, and other days I felt connected to Him through the creative process. 

Open My Eyes is an abstract version of my creative, spiritual process. I hope that you can connect with an element of it. 

Redeemer University, Redeemer Art Gallery, exhibitions, senior exhibition, Charlotte Kohl
About Charlotte Kohl

I was born in San Antonio Texas, and have grown up in Hampton, New Hampshire across from the ocean. I have always had the desire to explore the world, meet people unlike myself, and be in the midst of the earth God has created. Much of my art is based on things I have learned or seen during my trips. One of the most impactful moments that I experienced was in the rice fields of Sapa, Vietnam. I trekked up the hills for hours, and took photos of local children working in the fields. Their eyes really caught my attention, piercing and beckoning. I used these pictures to paint a series this year. I wanted to uphold these children as images of Christ.


In my senior series Open My Eyes, I wanted to abstractly express my journey as a child made in the image of God. I wanted to rest in Him, listening and envisioning my sin, and how Jesus can work through me in a divine way.

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