|For those seeking a detailed biography of Charlotte Harwell please accept my apologies for not
providing one. Perhaps someday I will write her biography, but for now I would rather the
images of her say something of who she was. A long time ago, Charlotte changed the direction of
my art and changed it for the better. Because she was gracious enough to permit me to draw and
later paint her likeness over and over again, I learned whatever it is I know about drawing the
figure or anything at all about painting. It will be seen throughout this site that my images of her
are hardly perfect and I made plenty of the kind of mistakes that an artist trying to find his way
will make. I was strangely very shy at first about rendering her pear-shaped wide hipped figure
and it also took some time to learn the beautiful cartography of her face, but with time, I began to
get closer to rendering some justice to her particular beauty.
Charlotte provided the inspiration for all of my neo Pre-Raphaelite and my Victorian Gothic
images over the years even if she did not directly model for them. None of the drawings and
paintings of her are for sale, and they will not be in my lifetime. Some of the drawings and
paintings are on a permanent loan to a very select and special few.
Charlotte was a person whose heart was filled with much love and I hope that it is readily
apparent in the images and that it is equally evident that all of the pictures of her were done with
Alongside the sketch of Charlotte and myself is a poem written by one of the dearest
souls I know who in her own way knew Charlotte quite well.
|"...Drifting with the current down a moonlit stream,
While above the Heavens in their glory gleam,
And the stars on high
Twinkle in the sky
Seeing in a paradise of love divine
Dreaming of a pair of eyes that looked in mine
Beautiful Ohio in dreams again I see
Visions of what used to be."
"Beautiful Ohio" Mary Earl, 1918
Of course she lives
Everywhere and nowhere
And I am left clutching
after a roseate shadow.
Everything is for her.
The great blossom of the gramophone.
Every kiss of paint on paper.
All my silken waistcoats.
I would not have her clubbed
By this brutal century
When she next returns,
Trailing all my memories behind her.
This new house calls her
Even when I
And so she dances forth.
Of grass beneath her feet.
Every blade...a year
Every step a song.
When did I ever have
I always take her hand
And the song begins again.
If it only were a moonlit stream
And not an ocean
These two old lovers.
Above us reels,
An augury of birds,
But we do not heed.
Valerie J. Powell, 2006
used with kind permission, copyright Valerie J. Powell.