Charlie Hunter Paints Outside

Charlie Hunter is a plein air painter, which is a fancy way of saying he paints outside. His paintings of Vermont are stark and evocative and mostly the color of mud (Charlie calls it murk, which I think is a fancy way of saying mud). But his paintings capture the light and the feeling of this place in a way that’s totally uncanny and unique. He has a special love for painting trains and garages and industrial places in decline, and his hometown of Bellows Falls is his favorite subject. It’s an old mill town where the industry pretty much atomized years ago. And like a lot of poor towns that are out of the sight line of tourists, it specializes in Section 8 housing and low income assisted living. Bellows Falls is not a tourist destination. And because it’s not right off the interstate, it sort of feels like an outpost. But outposts are fun. People’s plot lines mix up in interesting ways, and at outposts, people know and consort with other people who are not exactly like them. It really feels like are are somewhere when you’re in Bellows Falls. I checked out a kiosk in the middle of town and there was an event called Swill, Swine and Swing. Which sounds pretty awesome.

I talked with Charlie about how he makes paintings, or actually more about what he thinks about making paintings. We also drove around town and visited places he likes to paint, in a town that he loves.

Credits and Links

Charlie’s website

Information about Charlie’s Roots on the Rails, where awesome musicians and audiences ride around on trains and enjoy great music.

Music by Brian Clark

Thank you Mark Bushnell and Erica Housekeeper for introducing me to Charlie.

Click on image to enlarge and launch slide show.


One Comment

  1. Paul Falcone
    Paul Falcone November 12, 2016 at 5:25 pm | | Reply

    I really like the lack of pretension. i can see this guy gutting a deer he just shot or splitting wood: it’s just something you do so enough with the big thoughts.
    As for the election… its frightening how fractured we are as a nation. Anger is far easier than accepting change and moderation and thinking beyond the smolder.

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