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  • Writer's pictureShea Stanfield

Seeing the Light in Shadow

The art of painting light and shadows finding patterns, and documenting the textures of the natural world is known as Plein-Air painting. It's the best way for an artist to learn to see the true colors of nature and capture the mood and feeling of a place. Artist Charles Eaton embraces the challenge and the rewards of a century-old technique in his stunning land and seascape masterpieces.

Charles grew up in Riverside, Illinois; during his childhood, he recounts, "I spent a great deal of time wandering the small forested areas close to where I lived." During these adventures, Charles says, "I loved my discoveries of fallen trees, fox dens, and secret ponds in the forest along the river that flowed through the town where we lived. My imagination went wild." During subsequent years Charles would explore large areas of wilderness, discover a variety of wild animals, and encounter vast oceans with beautiful sailing ships. All have become subjects of Charles's inspiration and subjects of numerous paintings.

True to many creative souls, their adult life is often years away from their childhood dreams, at least for their middle years. Charles says, "After many years in business consulting and automotive sales management, I decided to return to my first subjects of joy, in the great outdoors." He continues with, "I am still a child at heart. Through my paintings, I am still sailing the seas, exploring western mountains, and hiking the trails of northern forests. I am fortunate to have lived in places abundant with forests, streams, farms, and the large waters of the Great Lakes."

"I hope my love for the outdoors is reflected in my paintings. I aim to continue improving my skillset, realizing there is always more to learn."

Today Charles lives in Peoria, Arizona, and uses his home studio for his base of operations. Twelve years into his journey as a fine art painter Charles gives credit to well-known artists such as Kevin Macpherson, Ray Robert, Joseph McGurl, Kathy Anderson, Andrew Orr, Derek Penix, John Poon, Ned Mueller, and Bill Suys for instructing him in a variety of ways to refine his technique. It's a process, for sure. In addition, Charles's wife and fellow artist Kathleen Eaton can be depended on for an honest critique. Charles says, "I hope my love for the outdoors is reflected in my paintings. I aim to continue improving my skillset, realizing there is always more to learn."

Artist Charles Eaton is a member of the Sonoran Arts League and is represented by The Finer Arts Gallery in Cave Creek, Arizona, the East Ludington Gallery, Escanaba, and the Posterity Gallery in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. His goal is to continue sharing his love for the vast outdoors by capturing the light and shadows in the ever-changing land and seascapes he encounters.


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