Artwork by Charity Stratton on exhibit at library

MADISON – Artwork by Charity Stratton is now on exhibit at Madison Public Library as the featured artist for Madison Arts Alliance.

“I really love the versatility of oil paint and what it can create. I have done some watercolor and acrylics, but I prefer the rich colors you get from oil paints, as well as the way you can paint wet on wet,” Stratton said.

At the library, most of her paintings measure six-by-six inches but the largest is 36-by-36. Several paintings depict the sky, clouds and landscapes, along with children. “I’m drawn to painting any beautiful scene that resonates with me,” Stratton said.

To-date, Stratton’s largest painting, “Vulnerable,” is more conceptual than her other paintings. “Vulnerable” shows a balloon in a cacti field, representing the feeling of vulnerability.

Stratton usually titles pieces to give more insight into the subject. Also at the library, “Well Worn” is a painting of men’s shoes, eliciting the memory of shoes that her father wore to work or church and then left at their home’s front door.

Even at 10 years old, Stratton had creative urges that led her to rearrange her bedroom furniture. “My paternal grandmother sent my father commemorative plates with paintings by Norman Rockwell. I love his work,” Stratton said.

In high school, Stratton took an art class and realized her skill at drawing and painting, along with typography and designing banner/signs.

By 2016, “I felt like I would burst if I didn’t find an outlet for my creativity. I could only redecorate so many rooms in my house,” Stratton said. She registered for a beginner’s class in oil painting at Huntsville Museum of Art.

However, the class disappointed her because little time was devoted to color mixing and composition. The emphasis was to copy someone else’s painting and ask the teacher what colors to mix for the desired effect.

“After each class, I wanted to make my own paintings but felt like the teacher held all the knowledge and was giving us just enough to finish one painting,” Stratton said.

Her solution was YouTube. She found a few artists sharing information. “I absorbed hours of content. I’ve learned so much from these artists – their knowledge, techniques and tips,” Stratton said. “

Stratton has completed online classes and hopes to enroll in masterclasses.

“I’ve always felt my creativity is a gift that God has given me. When I’ve used that gift to bless others, He has given me the ability to do more,” she said.

She attended Brigham Young University, but her children were the top priority. “I couldn’t bear to have someone else raise my children. I chose to be a stay-at-home mom. I’m so grateful that my husband Cliff has always supported that decision,” Statton said.

Cliff Stratton is an optometrist.

Older daughter Alexandria and husband Christopher live in Athens with their children, Andelynn and Lillian. Daughter Samantha and husband Jarrod and their daughter Cecelia live in Dothan while Jarrod attends Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine. Cliff and Charity’s 15-year-old son C.J. attends Bob Jones High School.

Charity serves as Communication Director for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She works as Secretary for Madison Interfaith Council.

Charity’s little-known interest is music by Led Zeppelin. “I always wanted to be a ‘Fly Girl,’” she said.

Her hobbies focus on DIY projects. “I have the ‘toxic trait’ of thinking I’m competent (for) almost any home renovation project — from building our kitchen, laying floors and repairing a deck,” Charity said. “I love having beauty around me and love to create it.”

For more information, email, or visit her Etsy shop, Oiled Art Co., at; Facebook/Oiled Art Co; or Instagram.

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