Realizing, as a young man, that he could not afford a "Capital Education" in art, Charlie went to sea in 1898 and visited galleries and museums wherever he traveled. He sketched and painted as he went, sculpted in concrete later in life, and returned to oils in his elder years. His legacy is considered an important contribution to the political, social, economic and cultural life of Nova Scotia.
Many of his paintings and sketches have been digitized allowing for the sale of reproductions.
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Exhibition Catalog
Charlie painted with oils during two periods in his life. In the 1920's his work was of a more classical nature and later, in the 50's, his paintings were of a high-keyed treatment that caused him to be compared with an impressionist group "The Ten" who had exhibited at the turn of the century in New York.
Some of his best water colours exist in a trio of sketchbooks carried on board while Charlie was at sea. Although photography was becoming commonplace, Charlie documented his travels in water colours, letters home, and in a penny diary with daily entries for a year abroad.
While "Kentville Concrete" manufactured an array of industrial products like culverts, pipe, and sidewalks, Charlie was also busy modeling deer, moose, toadstools, birdhouses, diaramas, human figures, and more. In addition decorating the interior and exterior of his home in Centreville with them.
After Charlie and Mabel's death, the contents of the estate were dispersed to various parts of Canada. Since the formation of the society, much of their legacy has been generously donated back. A great deal of it has been digitized by the society and reproductions are available for purchase. An arrangement with a local photofinishing firm allows for quality reproductions and gyclees at a reasonable price.
Below is a video sampling of Charlie's Nova Scotia.
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