|The ground we walk on, the plants and creatures, the clouds above constantly dissolving into new formations — each gift of nature possessing its own radiant energy, bound together by cosmic harmony. — Ruth Bernhard, photographer
Charlotte Kay was born in Austin, Texas and raised in Wellesley near Boston, Massachusetts. She vividly recalls her first artistic endeavor was making mud pies in the backyard at age 4. Since then she has sought texture and pattern in her landscape art.
She graduated from The Florida State University with a BA in Design in 1966, and returned to work in Boston as a graphic designer for seven years for H. E. Harris Stamp Company, Allyn and Bacon Publishing Company and John A. Lowell Bank Note Co.
In 1972, she relocated to San Francisco and formed Charlotte Kay Designs. Over the next 30 years, she developed such long-term clients as Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Harper and Row Publishing, and The Nature Conservancy of California. Frequently, she took art classes and workshops in photography and various media.
When she moved into a home with a small darkroom in the basement her interest in photography prompted several black and white printing classes at the San Francisco Art Institute Extension. An exhibition of 1930s pigment prints by Franz Ditrkol at Koch Gallery compelled her to seek a way to learn this turn-of-the-century impressionistic alternative photography process. She studied with Gene Laughter in Richmond, Virginia, the author of Bromoil 101. SFMOMA trustee Paul Sack purchased her bromoil Doorbells on Polk Street, exhibited at Corden/Potts Gallery in 2009.
She joined Bay Area Photographers Collective (BAPC) in 2002 and began to show her bromoils and other photography in BAPC group shows such the Annual One Shot Show, All Over the Map and Landscape: Real or Imagined curated by Linda Conner.
An on-going Portfolio Seminar from 2006-2011 with Richard Goldwach at CCSF in Ft. Mason was instrumental in expanding her photographic skills and exhibition presentation.
Now using digital cameras and Photoshop filters, she continues to explore the beauty of natural and man-made landscapes. Implementing subtle saturated color and texture; the images are printed to express the luminosity of watercolors.
For the last several years she has been mesmerized by the alchemy of kiln-form glass created in her SOMA Artists Studio. Using her landscapes photos as models and inspiration, she stacks layers of different shape, sizes and opacities of compatible glass and fires to temperatures from 1300-1500 in a kiln to achieve depth and textures.
She has had several solo shows and many group shows in the San Francisco Bay Area from 2002 -2013.