Friday, November 4, 2022

My Future's Past 2

The Rape
Oil on canvas aprox 11x14

     It was about this time that my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer.  My grandmother battled later stage kidney disease brought on by diabetes.  Sitting on the screened in porch of their home , they both opened up with stories that were never really shared with the grandkids.  They shared a challenging life, raising five kids in a two bedroom home my wife and I sometimes find a bit small.  They talked about financial struggles and the worries of maintaining employment in a milltown with little regard for the laborers.  Unions were at their strongest providing medical insurance and leads to the next factory with a big contract.  They both worked without much open complaint, soetime sixty or even more hours.  The real money for my grandfather was in the overtime.  My Grandmother, working as a piecework presser made her money with her speed and efficiency, but there was little quality time left for family, and that had other costs, and longer tales.

    Those discussions fueled my own fires.  As a young man I was filled with rage and fear.  I knew I wanted nothing to do with those damned factories.  My path led through the U.S. Coast Guard and into college studying art.  After a day listening to the tales from my elders, I returned to the studio and painted a scream.  There are attempts at symbolology and a search for a voice.  This image haunts me.
    Both of my grandparent passed away within five years of me paintng this one.  Both endured years of physical pain.  But they saw me earn my degree, and they attended my first solo exibit.  I think they were proud.

My Future's Past 1

The Factory and theTree
oil on canvas aprox 18x24

     I am going to post for a bit, a series of older works I pulled out of my storage spot... this is work I still enjoy from the mid 1980's till 2010. Hope folks enjoy.

     This one goes way back... this was a student piece. Early in my last year of undergraduate school I painted this on location. I was looking for a nice spot along the beautiful Wattuppa Pond in my home town, Fall River. But the shoreline was grown over abd not accessable.  The city, an old mill town, was once the textile capitol ofcthe entire USA, really.  At some point I was behind the Kerr Mill, an old factory turned outlet store selling factory seconds and overstocks, before they got all commercialized. 
     I was thinking about Charles Sheeler and Picasso, Pollack, and a few others... this was the very start of finding my voice, thw genesis of mt self  The beginning of what I would ultimately call fusionism, my "style" when asked what it was called.

      One afternoon, I entered my studio to find one of my professors, Sig Haines, (sophomore painting), sitting in my chair, studying at this painting.  Sig is a colorist with impeccable drawing skills, considered by many, including me, to be a true contemporary master. He looked from the painting and said to me, "I love coming into your studio, Chuck.  There is always something good on your easel." Later, as I was working as an artist, showing regularly, gaining a following, he told me this was the painting that told him I could be a painter. (Took awhile to catch up to my Swain school peers, as I was a transfer student).  That comment has stayed with me 40 years.  I remember it whenever I look at this painting.  I have never let it go.

Friday, October 7, 2022



Endurance 1
36x60 inches
oil on canvas
Endurance 2
36x36 inches
oil on canvas

Endurance 3

oil on canvas
Endurance 4
36x36 inches
oil on canvas

       I paused, because that's what happens to me when the air gets cold, the trees are bare, and the lawn is hard and frozen.  I pause. I look for movies or shows to watch, wrapped in a blanket with a sweet warm snack.


       But as 2022 began, I found a challenge. I had a seed in my heart that needed to bloom.  In October,  my wife and I drove to the White Mountains on just the right day and I saw the color I had searched for since I first heard about it long ago. I needed to translate what I felt seeing it through my heart, my hand and my brush 

        I did not forsee a five month challenge.  Four panels, each one three feet by five feet, covered in small strokes of bold and vivid color, but that's where I went.

       From across a briskly running river, the immense power of golden foliage struck out and buried me in color.  I stood within the shadows along the shore, listening to the harmonies of rushing water, and on some level, the soprano of the high key of yellow.

       The color and the sound blended like a well crafted stage set. I was enraptured. 

       The only way to capture and express what I felt was through scale.  The four canvases on four easels reaching from Wall to Wall enveloped my studio and my thoughts.

       Five days a week, sometimes more, for close to six months.   

       Here it is. . 


60x144 inches oil on canvas


Friday, February 18, 2022

Looking Up

The sky paints with fire!

We have all seen it.  The vivid and the vague, the bright and the dull, they all take away our most shallow breath, slow our hearts beating, and gift us with unexpected peace.

Standing on the shoreline, of what I call, "at the top of the bay," I hear a whispered lyric, a paraphrased, slightly altered version of an old Beatles song.

"When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Nature calls to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And as the daylight turns to darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be."

Over 365 days of pandemic night, I stood in my spot at the top of the Bay watching color shift from the weight of the passing day and burn with the hope of tomorrow. 

The next day will be different,  it will be better. Look up, how can it be denied. Summer breeze,  winter gale⁹, fog banks and boats under sail, every day is different if not truly better.  But, she is standing there, right in front of me, whispering, "Get your brush, your knives, your pigments,  I challenge you. Paint with fire!" she says.

There is doubt.  A bit of uncertainty.   I have painted for 50 years now, but I can't light a candle compared to her fire.  I hear my own muse, "But you must.  This virus can not take it all."  She is persistent,  and yeah, to me, she is female, not a woman, but female. She is strong, persistent and protective.  She has several names.  She has been Kim, Paula, Roselinda, Rain, but for this year of Covid-19 she is Sky.  

I feel her on the wind. I smell her on the breeze. I hear her in my heart.  And I see her as I am looking up.  Finally, I acknowledge her, and lift my brush. I scream in silent joy, spread my pigment, and when all the days have passed, there are 50 paintings and an enlightend heart.

The sky paints with fire, and for a time, so does this guy.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Sea to See

       It has been embarrassingly long since I have added to this blog.  Sometimes life gets overwhelming and we must pick and choose priorities and those paths that our hearts prefer get put aside to address more immediate challenges.

  So, that said, I am back.  If you have not read past posts, now is a good time to go back and do it.  I try to write from my heart and explain where and how my art work is created.  I have been painting for about 50 years as of this one.  Each painting relies on all of the previous work.  So, I invite you to grab a cup, a glass or a bottle and spend a wee bit of time with my thoughts.

             More Time Along the Way
                  36x48 oil on canvas

                           Sea to See

     If you have spent any time following this blog, or following my social media, you know my wife, Dianne and I, love to take inspirational day trips to the mountains and the sea.  You may also have picked up, that I love the southern coast of Maine, particularly, Ogunquit, Perkins Cove, and the sea side walking path called Marginal Way.  The breeze whisking along the ocean keeps the worst of summers heat at bay.  The light from the sunshine is clear, bright, and vivid.  I love the varying shades of blue, sometimes shaking hands with violet, and sometimes tickling turquoise.  Often, both occur at the same time. 

                         Ocean Inlet
                 36x48 oil on canvas

     Clouds hover, as they shift and float overhead and toward the horizon.   Sometimes, I hear them whisper with the wind, the secrets and wishes of generations to be carried across time. 

                     Midnight Ramblings
                     36x48 oil on canvas

     Rocks, sometimes shades of black,  shades of umber, and still at other times sparkling surprizing hues, form a foundation, supporting the burdens of fallen dreams.  The colors reflecting the hard realities that emulate our struggles, our harsh challenges and even echo the passage of time.  The sea flows between those stones, showing me the paths, the ways, even the victories over those rocks and challenges.

         On the Way  36x48 oil on canvas

    I don't try to recreate what I see, I try to translate what I feel.  Like the lyrics to a song or the words in a poem, my brush strokes are a bridge from me to the viewer.  Where it goes from there is similar to the life of a child, separate and joined at the same time. We share these lives and we walk and live our lives along the sea we see.

The following are quick shot acrylic on panel studies.  They may or may not become larger gallery sized paintings.   They are certainly a part of what comes next.

                    Taylespun website

            Taylespun Reproduction Shop
                 Taylespun Original Shop

Monday, August 19, 2019

At Rest, Perkins Cove

About 1 hour and 15 minutes north of Boston, along the rocky southern coast of Maine, there is a small seacoast town called Ogunquit.  It has the feel of a Cape Cod village, but with a twist of pace that makes it just a bit slower, calmer, and somewhat unique.  The area is filled with gift shops, small businesses and oh so many restaurants’, hotels, and a beautiful sandy beach.  

Along the rocky coastline, there is a walkway called The Marginal Way.  It winds along the coast between stunning beach side hotels, private homes, small nook like beaches tucked between tall, dark rock formations that seem to slide right into the ever-present rhythmic waves.  In the distance, dotted along the horizon, there is a mixture of sport craft, sailing craft and fishing boats.  Lobster boats make their way along the coastline picking dinner for the visitors along The Way, to enjoy.

Just a mile or two away from the center of town, a small safe haven called Perkins Coves wraps around the vessels moored for the day while they rest.

I was moved by the tranquility that blanketed the cove.  The sea reflecting those vessels, and the sky over them, took on a life and planted a seed in me that has inspired me to create and to express that sense of peace if feel every time I return.


AT REST, PERKINS COVE is a 12x48 inch oil on canvas
filled with the working boast as my title says, at rest.  But the title refers to me, and the feeling I get, sitting on bench alongside the harbor, at a restaurants, or walking with my wife through the crowds winding between it all.  We have sailed on the charter boats, ridden the trolley bus, and eaten at many of the local spots, highlighted by Prego and the Lobster Trap.

The food, the air, the scent of the sea all contribute to my introspective process, those early steps i take before I paint.  During stressful times in my life, I seek out calming place.  My wife and I explore together, we grow together and we feed the muse together, and in the bright light beside the ocean, and in Perkins Cove, we find ourselves at rest, then the creation begins.

                Taylespun Reproductions

Friday, July 19, 2019

Horseneck Beach in Winter

      Along the south coast of Massachusetts in the small town of Westport, there is a beach.  It’s a beauty.  Located along the western edge of Buzzards Bay and facing south, the two mile stretch of sandy windswept beach is a great spot to catch come rays, dip in the Atlantic and bird watch.  In season, there are more than birds to watch as bikini clad beauties walk, run and play alongside their tanned volleyball toting guys.

detail #1

     I like visiting Horseneck in winter and early spring.  The sun is lower, the color deeper, and the shadows are longer.  In the soft light the sounds of the ocean gently lapping against the shore with a rhythm the seems to match each breath I take.  Swoosh, ahhh, swishh ahhh, swoosh ahhh and each step I take falls into the same quiet song.  In the distance a gull screeches’ a call that echoes along the sand.  The dune are covered with long dead vegetation dancing with every sort blow of the wind.

     I love the soft variations of gray on an
detail #2
overcast morning.  It is sort of counter to everything else I paint.  So, I left my vivid colors alone for a bit, and stayed with the almost muted hues on one winter morning.  There is nothing else along the beach, just me, my sketchbooks and my thoughts.  I tuned in to the dance of light and the cold brisk wind.  My pencil captured the basic value shifts and my heart held to the moment.  To me, this is a soulful painting.

detail #3
 My friend, Rene’,  who passed away far to soon, loved this place.  This image reminds me of her overflowing heart, her smile, and her eternal optimism.  An intimate group of friends, stood one spring day, our feet in the ocean, to wish her farewell and pray.

     We printed her name in the sand and waited as the never ending tide washed away our work and the wind dispersed the remnants of her physical self leaving us with our memories and our shared love.

Horseneck Beach in Winter

    The timelessness of the ocean and Horseneck Beach in the winter feed my soul and for a time chose my colors and moved my brush.