Charles “Chas” Redmond has lived an interesting and truly multidimensional life. A former military man, who spent nearly 30 years with NASA. As part of his duties and responsibilities with NASA, he was often involved directly with artists or museums and various art and culture groups. Bob Schulman, at the time NASA’s Art Program Director, and Chas once curated a special gallery-quality exhibition of the different photos taken by Voyager 1 in its encounters with Jupiter and Saturn.
These were on display at the National Academies of Sciences building on the Mall. On the Viking missions to Mars, 1 and 2, Chas was one of the public affairs staff who coordinated access and results with artists, philosophers, science fiction writers, clergy, et al. Eventually, Chas found his way to the Northwest and landed a position as an editor for the Seattle Post Intelligencer. Originally a resident of Capitol Hill, Chas found the hills of West Seattle to be a better fit, where he has since become a much beloved community leader and celebrated artist.
Chas has been drawing, making mobiles, and painting since grade school. If one looks at his entire production for
all media, the style would probably be described as post-Impressionism with Surrealistic elements executed seemingly in Minimalist fashion. Chas considers himself to primarily be a painter or illustrator, but he admits to having an eye for and an appreciation of mobiles, so he’s made many mobiles using different themes. He’s also been a photographer and darkroom artist since he was in high school, and has an extensive history and collection of both color slides, black and white, prints and color prints.
How did his love of the arts begin? In his youth, Chas used colored pencils and rulers to do technical drawings of buildings, cars, and refrigerators. At the same time, he was carving balsa wood into buildings and using colored ink to distinguish them. From junior high through college Chas became more and more involved in both visual and 3D mobile art. He took classes in high school and again in college to better develop these skills. During this time, he was beginning to develop his eye through photography, and would often look through the lens and imagine what that view would look like as a drawing. Not to be confined to a single medium, Chas also experimented with oil paint on large (4’x4’, 5’x5’) canvasses, which he would often give away as gifts to his friends. After college, Chas was drafted and sent to Korea for his tour of duty. At his station in Korea, Chas found that there were several darkrooms and photo clubs already existing and he dove into that, experimenting with the process of making posters for TV.
“… that afternoon, about a dozen grown-ups and their children had fun exploring a new way to make art… “
When asked what inspires Chas to create, he responded, “I’ve personally seen a wondrously huge portion of the Earth, over a million miles in North America alone. I think the most inspiring thing which moves me to create art is the beauty and stunning diversity of land, sky, water, plants, and animals on Earth here with me. Overall most of his work – even the mobiles – is an expression of some element of Earth that I can capture. The mobiles move with the slightest movement of air – a gauge in a true sense.”
And when asked what piece of art or artistic event Chas is most proud of, he said, “I’m most proud that my art – of all manner and kind – have brought pleasure to my family, my friends and fellow workers and that I’ve been successful in opening others’ eyes and spirits to art, be it visual, aural or physical acting. I think of art, my own included, as something to be shared and enjoyed mutually with others.” He followed by saying, “I don’t want to be snarky or pedantic here – but the most fulfilling aspect of my art – be it painting, mobile, photograph, drawing or pastel – is that I like it. If I like what I’ve done, I’m completely happy. I did what I wanted to do and there is a permanent copy of his thought and vision. The next most fulfilling thing is sharing with others.”
Currently, Chas has found revitalization in Crayon Lava art, and shares a story of how his son, daughter-in-law, and their two girls (his grandchildren) were so stoked about the medium that they invited several neighbors, also with kids, over for a “let’s make crayon lava art in aluminum pie pans inside a toaster-oven”, and for the rest of that afternoon, about a dozen grown-ups and their children had fun exploring a new way to make art.
His current art project is the molten Crayon wax lava series, which he’s advanced for the past year, since falling into this completely new use of Crayola crayons black hole. Facebook page has a large proportion of his art over many periods.
The URL for his Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/chas.redmond. From time to time, you can see Chas’s art in a physical public display at the Seattle Southwest Library during their annual 30-day exhibition of local artists’ work. His art has also been on public display for the past half-year during Second Tuesday Art Walks in his local village center – Alaska Junction, where you can purchase pieces directly from the artist.