Charles Ezra Ferrell was born in Detroit, MI. He was the last of seven children conceived by Ella Mae (Patterson) Ferrell of Pulaski, TN and Fred Ferrell, Jr. of Sharon, GA.

From childhood, Charles demonstrated a natural propensity for the visual arts. His early creative talents were augmented through art training received at Cass Technical High School (Detroit, MI) and Cranbrook School (Bloomfield Hills, MI). He studied live models and portraitures, primarily through self-directed study, at Amherst College and University of Michigan.

Today, Charles resides in Southfield MI and is a detailed pencil artist and photographer. His works focus on jazz artists, political luminaries, Kemetic (Ancient Egyptian) motifs and nature.

His drawing tools of choice are F, 2H, 5H, 2B-5B, and 7B pencils; off-white archival 90-100 pound 18×24 and 22×30 Strathmore quality paper; Faber Castell 9000 Series and Pitt Pure Graphite Pencils; Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils; workable fixative and non-abrasive erasers. His techniques includes line drawing, hatching, crosshatching, random hatching, scribbling, stippling, blending and rapid random layering strokes with broad graphite sticks to create details and gradients of values.

Upon viewing electronic images of Charles’ drawings, John Bolden, Executive Vice-Chancellor of WCCCD, DIA Alain Locke awardee and a member of the Brown and Juanita C. Ford Gallery ‘s Curatorial Committee wrote: “There is much energy contained in these pieces. It is clear that you have a strong voice about each of your subjects as each personality surfaces uniquely. Furthermore, you have done an excellent job in filling your space with sensory images that hold the viewer’s attention, quite impressive.” Charles can transform any clear photograph into original artwork.

For photography, Charles uses a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi. He provided photography services to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, The Jazz Café (The Music Hall of the Performing Arts) and Arturo’s Jazz Theater (now Luckey.s), where four of his drawings are on permanent exhibition. He has exhibited at Wayne State University, The Players Playhouse (sponsored by The Detroit Fine Arts Society), Ford Motor Company / Detroit International Jazz Festival sponsored Arts League of Michigan’s “Just Jazz”, a national touring exhibition, The Music Hall Performing Arts Center Bassett & Bassett Lounge, The Music Hall’s “Cars and Star” Annual Fundraiser, The Compuware Corporate Headquarters Atrium,The Detroit Public Library and The Scarab Club Gallery.

Upon seeing Charles’ photographic work, Gregory Wittkopp, Director of the Cranbrook Art Museum, stated, “Your shots are amazing! …. We rarely hire outside photographers, but I certainly would like to add your name…”

In Charles’ words, “My artistic goal is to infuse my work with life-energy and transferable emotion. The creation of art is a sacred act. Real art is not neutral. It should stir emotions and trigger a movement deep in the undercurrent of the psyche…and bring to the surface a new way of seeing, a new way of being.”

Contact Charles at: to discuss art, gallery representation, exhibition opportunities and/or to purchase original art.

All photographs and artworks in this and other “redbubble” links are copyrighted and owned by the artist, Charles Ezra Ferrell. Any reproduction, modification, publication, transmission, transfer, or exploitation of any of the content, for personal or commercial use, whether in whole or in part, without written permission from myself is prohibited. All rights reserved.

Art By Charles Ezra Ferrell, LLC

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  • Joined: February 2008
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