Cheri Lee Charlton is a Chicago-based artist. She is a traditionally trained painter and currently moonlights as an illustrator, muralist, and college instructor. Most of her undergrad and graduate work was completed in Ohio with a year spent studying in Florence, Italy. While living in Florence, Cheri decided to fully pursue a degree in fine art; gaining inspiration from the art surrounding her and walking down the same cobblestone streets as Renaissance masters Leonardo Da Vinci and Botticelli.
A brief statement from Cheri:
I have a style that is evident throughout all my work, may it be coined fine art or illustration. It’s always described as colorful but I’ve heard it descried as whimsical, strange, naughty, cute, and sometimes humorous. I am a fan of complex busy compositions that allow the eye to wander through and be rewarded with hidden details. I love using organic graphic outlines that I know are inspired from hours of watching cartoons and Disney films. The colors I use are inspired from my love of fashion magazines and textiles. When I scan through the pages of Vogue it’s not just for fashion tips I search for color pallets and patterns within those pages.
I also had parents who exposed me to not only great music from the 1960’s and 70’s but also the psychedelic posters and album art that accompanied it; surely this has acted as an inspiration to my use of organic line and sometimes acid bright color pallets. In addition to Saturday morning cartoons my style and the content of my work has also been inspired by my love of commercial art and illustration from the late 1800’s early 1900’s. I’m a collector of Victorian valentines and advertisements which I appropriate imagery for a lot of my illustrative work. My future goals are to write and illustrate a children’s book and continue to cover walls with colorful murals.
Please find more work, information about current and upcoming exhibitions, and work to purchase for your interior space on her website: Cheri Lee Charlton. She is also on Facebook: Cheri Lee Charlton
top: Zara, pant: Zara, boots: Bocage, bag: Armani Exchange (similar here), bracelets: Old Navy & Marc by Marc Jacobs, sunglasses: Ray-Ban
Leather leggings and tops are a modern wardrobe must-have this season. This combined faux leather and faux suede pair are cool, comfortable, and affordable. I decided to support monochromatic black (a favorite of mine), but these leggings can be just as fun paired with a v-neck tee and sneakers.
shirt: Zara, jeans: Armani Exchange, shoes: Report – Signature , sunglasses: Ray-Ban, earrings: Madewell, bag: 3.1 Phillip Lim, lipstick: YSL
A white button down is a great wardrobe basic. I love the oversized, yet crisp look of this one. It’s always best to pair an oversized top with a slim or skinny pant for a balanced look, and vise versa. A red lip, slender tote and d’Orsay flat keep this look feeling classic.
Still focusing on fall trends, I have selected a few of my favorite scarves for the season. Besides making an outfit come together with a great shoe or boot, a scarf is the next best accessory. They are functional and can add a pop of color to any outfit, whether it be a dress or your favorite pair of skinny jeans.
1. Angora Scarf, Zara, $119.00
2. Grid Scarf, J.Crew, $55.00
3. Adrianna Snood, Club Monaco, $198.50
4. Echo – Pleated Infinity Scarf, Nordstrom, $38.00
sweatshirt: Zara, shorts: Forever 21, earrings: Old Navy, shoes: Aldo (similar here), bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Sweatshirts typically fall into the loungewear part of my wardrobe. They are perfect for a lazy weekend and layering in cooler weather. When I saw this cropped marl colored sweatshirt I thought it would be a great piece to dress up with a few feminine details. A black patent leather Oxford shoe and subtle shimmer on my mismatched skull earrings jazzed it up, while keeping it classic with a black scarf and shorts. Happy Monday, everyone!
tee: Zara, shorts: DIY denim cutoff, bag: J.Crew (similar here), shoes: Biba, watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs (similar here), sunglasses: Ray-Ban
A pair of denim cutoffs is a summer go-to for me. They can be paired with almost any style of top and they are so comfortable. I decided on an oversized tee and a pop of color for my bag. I found these sandals in Italy a couple of summers back and they are perfect for adding a little something extra to a casual look. Happy Friday!
Tacos are one of my most favorite foods! Chicago is a wonderful city for hunting down “the best” taco. And sometimes I find a delicious taco at home. Enjoy!
Prep peppers and onions for the grill: red, yellow, orange, green, poblano and jalapeño if you like a bit of spice.
Coat the peppers with extra virgin olive oil, then Ottoman spice* and Trader Joe’s South African Smoke seasoning.
Place peppers and onion slices on the grill, skin side down for 6-8 minutes or until peppers and onions begin to char. Flip and cook for another 6-8 minutes.
Remove the peppers and onions from the grill and set aside to cool. Slice into thin pieces.
Warm corn tortillas or flour tortillas in the microwave for 20 seconds. Garnish with cilantro, coleslaw (Whole Foods carries my favorite) lettuce, sliced avocado, refried beans, spicy mayo** and salsa.
5 tbsp veganaise or mayo
3.5 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 tbsp sriracha
Add additional sweet chili sauce and sriracha to taste.
*Ottoman Spice is from Ucuzcular, a spice market found in the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey. Please click here to purchase this amazing spice blend. Or, Old Bay Seasoning is an appropriate alternative.
jacket: ASOS, top: Old Navy , skirt: H&M (similar here), shoes: Zara, bag: Prada earrings: American Apparel
I love long sleeve tees, they have always been a go-to for comfort. I wanted to punch up the casualness of this tee by adding a few feminine touches. A shimmering gold skirt adds a little flair and you can never go wrong with a patent leather wedge. The leather moto jacket brings subtle balance along with the small nylon cross body. A great transition outfit for the end of summer.
top: H&M (similar here), pant: Old Navy, shoes: Zara, bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs, glasses: Prada
A monochromatic look can be fun. Typically, I choose all black but all white with subtle black accessories can be just as flattering. I love the crisp, clean lines on this white sleeveless top. A skinny jean and strappy heel hold this fresh look together.
Work by photographer Abelardo Morell is currently on display at the Art Institute of Chicago. Abelardo creates these beautifully juxtaposed images by using a technique called camera obscura. This is established by completely darkening a room with black plastic and cutting a small hole into the plastic allowing light to pass through onto the subject (or room). Then using a large-format camera to capture the image on the wall and expose it on film. As you can see from these pictures, he has traveled the world creating many series and individual pieces of work. This exhibition in on display until September 2, 2013. Go see it this weekend!