Charlie was born in Cameron, Texas, and graduated Alfred C. Glassell School of Art in ceramics and sculpture. She exhibited in numerous local and national exhibitions with interdisciplinary performances and installations. In 1984, Charlie Jean Sartwelle and John Runnels founded MotherDogStudios, as a response to the visual arts communities need to provide working studio/exhibition space for local and visiting artists. She was selected as a finalist of the METRO Solutions Public Arts Program in 2007. Charlie Jean lives in Houston.