Artist, Painter | Medium: Gunpowder | Read Artist Bio
Chelse Wren is a mixed media artist who specializes in art made with gunpowder. Although Chelse has worked with numerous mediums such as graphite, charcoal, acrylic, pastel, watercolor and gunpowder, her focus is in gunpowder and the use of color in an otherwise black and white palette.
Chelse Wren’s gunpowder works of art are extremely rare and unique as there are very few people in the world using color in these explosive creations.
Chelse Wren’s art showcases the beauty and intricacies of the wildlife and landscapes of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem that inspires her. You’ll fall in love with the landscapes and animals she creates including buffalo, bears, owls, moose, sheep, wolves, foxes, and more.
Meet Chelse Wren:
Fear is a powerful emotion that often prevents many from pursuing their dreams; for the idea of failing is too much to handle. It is this one emotion and single thought that continues to push Chelse to this day. Facing her fears and stepping out of her comfort zone is something she does daily in her Wyoming studio. While standing over her burn table Chelse puts her thoughts of doubt aside, leans into her years of artistic experience and touches the torch to the gunpowder. It’s in this moment, as the flames dance among the smoke, when she lives her dream of being an artist.
Gunpowder is a challenging artistic medium and unbeknown to Chelse, adding color into the mix creates an entirely new level of difficulty. When she discovered gunpowder art, the difficulty of it did not even enter her mind. The only thing she noticed was there were only a few people around the globe using color in these explosive creations. To her this was a welcome opportunity; an opportunity that would ultimately aid her in expressing herself during challenging times to come.
In May of 2020, Chelse’s health began to decline. Constant ear ringing, dizziness, headaches, brain frog and having difficulty communicating verbally were only a few of the symptoms she was dealing with on a daily basis. In June of 2020 she was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation. With limited options from the doctors to help, she was forced to learn how to manage her condition all on her own through natural and holistic means. Although, this solution took months to find and the feeling of isolation took a toll on her. To get through the tough times she produced her art. On her good days she was in the studio burning art and testing ideas. On her bad days, she would lay on the floor as her room spun sketching out ideas the best she could.
Chelse approached colored gunpowder art with two things. First was her artistic curiosity stemming from childhood. The other being her background in wildlife biology where she studied at Lake Superior State University. She researched and tested as much as she could while allowing her childhood innocence to guide her in the process. It took her months to learn how to create color and it took over two years for her to understand her process that she knows currently.
Today Chelse lives symptom free and proceeds to push her art; for she believes her work as a gunpowder artist has only just begun. She pushes the boundaries of what she knows and does all she can to bring her subjects from Grand Teton and Yellowstone to life. Leaving no stone unturned, Chelse dreams to burn larger pieces. This thought of going big scares her; however, to her there is nothing more terrifying than not trying at all.