Artist Cher Odum has much of her original artwork in the Dragonfire Gallery in Cannon Beach, OR. You can also view her art at http://cher-odum.fineartamerica.com/
About My Art by Cher Odum
Since I was four I knew I was an artist. Any plain blank surface was my canvas, including walls and shiny new cars. If it looked like it needed a little color I was always more than happy to add my special artist’s touch with my Crayola Crayons or finger paints. I never quite understood why my colorful creations weren’t better received.
As I grew older my canvases changed. Through the 70s and 80s I worked as a fabric artist, creating hand-made quilts and dolls to help support my family. From 1990 through 2004 I got into bodybuilding and was a certified Personal Fitness Trainer, training mostly bodybuilders. My body was my canvas then. I coached others in sculpting their bodies according to their personal vision and goals.
From 2000 through 2008 I also worked as a youth counselor with at-risk youth, working mostly with young girls. It was during that time I revisited the stick figures of my youth, doodling them on maintenance orders and scrap sheets of paper as a coping skill to help me through some stressful nights at work and to bring smiles to the faces of the maintenance men when they received them with their work orders.
My stick figures began to fill out and take on a lot more life, inspired by the young girls I counseled. Soon they found their way onto t-shirts for both the counselors and the students. From there came larger paintings on canvas which are still hanging in the youth center today.
I began developing what is now my signature style, with the big feet, small head, overall distorted body image, and the wild different colored hair in some. My artwork is focused on women. Being a woman myself, and working with women, and especially adolescents, I’ve observed how we all seem to hate what we see in the mirror. Our feet are too big, our bums are outrageously huge, we feel clumsy and awkward (and we are so during adolescents), and think so “small” of ourselves – – hence the small head. However, we are all beautiful beings, if only we could really see our being-ness. We are wiser than we know. That’s where the pearls come from (pearls of wisdom) and the music I’ve portrayed in some of the paintings. The eyes have a sense of knowing, which comes from being bright beings, and our many different lifetimes here on earth, and in between. In the paintings where the figure is painted, in parts, outside the boarder, I am showing a breaking out of the box people try to put us in – – and how our being-ness is too large to be contained. The paintings where the woman is running, leaping, dancing above the mountains and trees show a free spirit – – larger than life – – and anything is possible if only we believe it.
I recently felt the need to get back to basics while createing a series of art specifically for runners, inspired by my daughter. I decided the most basic thing I could do is once again return to the ever popular stick-figure. Hence the “Sticklete Athlete” was born and continues to develop. The Sticklete Athlete has gone beyond running and encompasses biking, surfing, hiking, climbing, yoga, etc. They capture the strong, passionate, determined and free spirited woman within us all.
© Copyright Cher Odum All Rights Reserved. All work in this gallery is the original work of Cher Odum. and is protected by US and International Copyright laws.