Since 1986, Charles Strain has been learning, exploring, and sharing the language of abstraction. Charles’ career as a sculptor has been shaped by several mentors who appeared at critical points in his artistic journey and helped shape who he is. As Charles dedicated his life to becoming a sculptor, he recognized that money would be tight and that creative, cost efficient solutions were needed for every expense.
During the summer of 1987 when Charles was working as an intern for Larry Young, the pay was the opportunity to cast his own bronze sculptures, which did not provide any money to rent a place to live. So, Charles borrowed a goose hunting trailer that would not be used by the owner until Fall, and parked the trailer behind Larry’s studio for the summer.
Charles built his studio with treasures that he was able to find in schools shutting down their shop programs, businesses that fell on hard times, or other opportunistic purchases. Every piece of major equipment in his studio has a great story about why this equipment is the lowest cost solution.
While on the road attending art shows and installing large sculptures, Charles usually sleeps in his truck, and prepares his own meals.
His quest as a sculptor also left no room in his life to cultivate significant relationships with a potential life partner until 1999 when he met Melinda, the love of his life.
Charles’ first priority in life is his family. Charles has two sons, Cody and Charles, his wife Melinda, and two golden retrievers, Gigi and Sissy.
Besides working in the studio any chance he gets, traveling from art show to art show, and being a full time dad, he enjoys what little free time he has in the outdoors. You might find Charles fishing in between art shows or kayaking in the Everglades.
Charles is a true role model, mentor, and leader that literally started in a goose trailer and built his life with hard work and dedication to being a sculptor.
Cody, 23, has recently changed career paths from the hospitality and restaurant business to helping Charles with the everyday challenges that come with being an artist.
Cody takes care of the marketing and website, working on public and private commissions, consulting with designers, helping in the foundry, and any other task Charles needs a hand with. Cody also travels with charles as a second mate. Cody recently has been investing his time to modernizing Charles process to run more efficiently.
Charles met Melinda in 1999 and immediately realized that he had met the love of his life. Little did he know that he also met his life partner and business partner. Charles and Melinda were married in 2001 and by 2003, Melinda was dedicating her life to supporting Charles’ career as an Artist.
You might find Melinda working in the wax room, answering emails, negotiating with suppliers, office work, traveling with Charles, or working in the garden, as well as being a full time mom to their two sons, Cody and Charles.
Charlie Brown, Charles Jr., 17, is a Junior in high school and aside from his academics and time spent practicing baseball, he might be down in the shop with Melinda in the wax room, sand blasting, hand sanding, or cleaning the shop. Sometimes making trips to the store when big Charles runs low on Mt. Dew.
Charlie plans to play collegiate baseball after he graduates high school in 2020.