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Charles Peterson's Biogaphy

With his studio overlooking beautiful Lake Michigan, much of Charles Peterson's art reflects his love for sailing and the sea. Paintings of the great sailing ships and wonderful seascapes have long provided Peterson with both financial and professional success. Peterson's work has also been featured in the most prestigious galleries in the country and in juried shows of international significance.
But if Peterson's marine paintings have brought professional prestige and recognition, it is his unique "memories" paintings that have brought national popularity. Painted with the same personal interest, Peterson's "Memories Collection" of limited edition prints combine the elements of an old, forgotten site with the very subtle reflection of the special times that are still real for those who remember. New releases are awaited anxiously by collectors all across the United States and Canada. The Memories Collection strikes a chord in all of us who have fond memories of simpler times.
Regardless of subject, Charles Peterson collectors have come to expect a consistent quality that comes only from a lifetime of study and work. Eight years of advanced art training, a successful twenty year career as a college professor of art, and an additional twenty years of painting fulltime have all contributed to the extraordinary watercolor compositions of a true master, Charles Peterson.
There's more to know about Charles Peterson. In his second book, Reflections, there is a large section about his life as he was growing up. Here are passages from the book.

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Many of the sailors were interested in my drawings. It wasn't unusual for one of them to ask for a specific subject as a favor. I remember one fellow, especially enamored with what I was doing, who really wanted a drawing of our ship. I was pleased to sketch it for him so his loved ones could better visualize where he was.
I later learned that he sold it for twenty dollars. I should have been more upset than I was, but the realization that someone would actually pay money for this stuff was a kind of revelation to me.

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As kids, when we were headed for each other's houses, we had to pick our way, often at high speed, through hedges and around garden patches which dominated practically every back yard in the neighborhood. In my mind, I think I could still negotiate the zigzag route home from John Scott's house, even after dark. These gardens wasted very little time or space on flowers (though I do remember Mother's hollyhocks), but went about the practical business of feeding the family during the depression. "Home Grown" settles on a family group harvesting ripe vegetables, but taking time to sniff the flowers, too.

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Though I can no longer accept commissions, a fair share of my work in the past was exactly that. Many artists resist the idea of doing commissioned work, finding it beneath their dignity perhaps, or feeling their work should grow entirely from their own private inspiration. To be fair, many simply cannot accommodate a patron's ideas or harmonize them with their own instincts. Michelangelo's example is instructive. Few personalities have been as prickly as his, and yet he was able to comply with Pope Julius II's commission for one of the great illustrations of the Renaissance. He didn't paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling "on spec," you know.

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One of Dick's favorite stories from our childhood was of the time I became bored with the baseball game we were playing and began working with a big ball of mud, sculpting it into a bust of Abraham Lincoln. A couple of boys near me recognized what it was and soon most of the team was around me-for the most part, ignoring the game. Dick's adult version of the story told of the pride he felt for his little brother's talent, but what I recall is how disgusted he was with me for spoiling the game.

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Living in the age of photography, we often fail to understand the implications of a painted likeness. Unlike a camera, the painter who works directly from the model (as opposed to painting from a photograph of the model) doesn't record that single, consistent instant, but rather records the mood changes undergone by the sitter during the entire time it takes to complete the painting. The vaunted mysteriousness of Mona Lisa's 11 smile" is surely due, in part, to the fact the Leonardo painted her over many sittings, and her moods (complicated by the loss of her child as well as listening to the ramblings of a 300 plus IQ) necessarily changed. So, he painted her eyes in one mood, for example, and her mouth in another (if you took at her you will see her mouth may be smiling slightly, though her eyes are not). A painted portrait is really a kind of summary of personality as understood by observation over time. These factors mean that a portrait can be a very rich record of the subject.

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The soda fountain was a vital part of high school life during my youth; irresistible from the standpoint of both social advancement and taste delight. "Fountain of Youth" is based on my memory of one operated by an aunt and uncle where my cousin Bill and 1, on very special occasions, were permitted to create our own ice cream extravaganzas. My own tended toward vanilla with hot fudge and whipped cream, studded with nuts and a cherry at the apex. Uncle Cecil stands in back of the counter in his accustomed place while Aunt Ange is out of sight in the kitchen, which she ruled with iron discipline. The furnishings and gear were researched at Two Rivers, Wisconsin, in the museum of the actual store where the ice cream sundae was invented in the 1920's - a kind of Mecca for all who remember those delights of the after school hours.

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My home town was fortunate to have as its Boy Scout Executive, Carl Parlasca, an adopted Brule Sioux. He organized a very popular annual pageant which involved a program of Indian dancing and encouraged a devotion to Indian lore. Indian dance took us all over the Midwest, to the Chicagoland Music Festival, the Indiana State Fair, and for me, even to Paris. I accompanied Mr. "Par" to the 1947 International Boy Scout Jamboree as his choreographer. My job, while crossing the ocean, was to teach Lakota dances to a group of boys that included a full-blooded Blackfoot, Earl Old Person, who would later become a chief of his tribe. There's an image for you; a Swede teaching Sioux dancing to a Blackfoot on a heaving deck in the middle of the Atlantic! For whatever reason, Earl was simply unable to oblige his Blackfoot feet to conform to Lakota rhythm. We finally hit upon the happy solution of asking him simply to lead the American delegation into the arena on opening night - a great spectacle.



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Charles L. Peterson
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Just a thought -- wouldn't a copy of one of Charles Peterson's books make a great birthday gift, Mother's Day gift, Father's Day gift or Christmas gift. Since many of the prints are sold out editions, this is the only way to enjoy those prints. Plan ahead to have that present ready for the special occasion by ordering today!. We can direct ship to the person receiving your gift so it arrives in time for the special day.

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Yes, we do APPRAISALS of prints. However, there is a cost.
The first print is $35.00 and each print after that is $10.00.
Just give us some lead time.     Allen

We regret the need to raise our shipping costs.
Postage costs have steadily increased while we held the line on our shipping prices.
We no longer can. We need to add $5 for each framed print under $200
and $10 to the price of any framed print $200 and over. There is
no price change on an unframed print.


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