The Trippe Gallery
Born in Milford,NH, raised in Weathersfield, VT and now residing in Bellows Falls, Vt, Charlie Hunter comes by his journalistic streak as the son of an ordained minister who left the church because of a love of printmaking and started a newspaper in their hometown. Hunter's renderings follow this family tradition of observing and reporting. As with most things, Hunter has a sense of humor about his work. He calls his industrial images "murky paintings of decaying American infrastructure and describes his style as "panic born of ineptitude." Though photographic in appearance, his paintings are done entirely by hand and eye, often outdoors en plein air painting. He's been profiled in Plein Air Magazine in an article titled "Taking 30 Years to Become an Overnight Success."
To watch Hunter paint is like watching a small miracle unfold. He paints like few others. Using water-mixable oil paints, he makes a large puddle of color he calls "murk". Depending on his mood and the scene in front of him, the murk can be anywhere from raw sienna to burnt umber-hardly a broad color palette. "I am not a strong colorist," Hunter explains, so he decided to paint monochromatically. "If I can tell the story I want to tell using a limited palette, I'd be kind of an idiot to try to tell it any other way." An unintended benefit is that it has given him a distinctive recognizable style.
Studying graphic art at Yale, he dreamt of designing album covers. He began painting in the 1980's. While his work presents a different access point for emotional resonance, they function well in relation to purely visual elements as well as an implied narrative. "My goal is to paint beautifully that which is not traditionally considered beautiful." He does it quite well.