Charlie Savedoff was born and raised on Long Island, New York. Little did he know that an intensive Outward Bound course in the San Juan wilderness area of Colorado would change his life— but it did.
He left Long Island and moved to British Columbia, Canada. Attracted by the beauty of Vancouver and the wilderness of Western Canada, Charlie began his career and family. A colourful resume, Charlie’s career spans many sectors. He worked as an executive in an engineering firm specializing in waste energy recovery systems. He founded a company that optimized lime kilns, he invested in and bred race horses, dabbled in food and beverage opening Vancouver’s first leading Sushi restaurant, and was the founder of a luxurious woolen company that designed and manufactured blankets and clothing in Vancouver.
Retired, Charlie and his wife Deborah live in a seaside stone cottage on Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick, Canada. Their home is handcrafted from island basalt stone and tamarack wood and sits on the Bay of Fundy overlooking iconic Swallowtail Lighthouse.
I believe the unconscious is powerful and can eclipse the conscious imagination. It is always working. What I do is bypass my conscious and express my unconscious feelings as you would in a dream but I do in a kind of meditative state through sketches. I then choose a sketch that I like. The image I get is primitive and resembles the picture you would get from a child’s drawing. What I do that a child doesn’t do is spend time with what I did and delete what doesn’t work or rework it instinctually always trying to simplify.
I have no formal training. There is no striving for effect. I don’t have to learn anything or go through the process of unlearning because I haven’t learned in the first place. What I do then is draw or paint the sketch.
My friend and mentor Clyde McCulley critiques what I do or what I didn’t do and I follow many of his suggestions. What I also do is immerse myself in nature, which is easy considering I live on a beautiful island in the middle of the Bay of Fundy.
I am convinced that what I consciously know is I don’t know anything and that is my starting point. What results if I am lucky is a painting or drawing that evokes a simple honest primal feeling. I want the works to be light, carefree, and evoke feeling like a flower.
In our modern day in day out world people are alienated from the natural world. Either there is no time to reflect on it, there are so many distractions that it doesn’t get reflected on, or both.
In most primitive societies people live in a rhythm with the natural world. If you read the writings of Chief Seattle and other native chiefs from years ago when these tribes were intact there is a reverence for nature that is missing in our world. These tribes were responsible stewards of the environment and the earth stayed in tact under their watch for many thousands of years. There is a catastrophic price we as a modern society are paying for not being in tune with this.
A movement in art that hones in on unconscious feelings/thinking may help to awaken us to the primary and ultimately face up to what truly is important in this life, for example, the survival of our specie and the other species that we share this planet with.