Charles Vickery (1913-1998)
Charles Vickery is best known for his ability to paint the infinite moods of water and as a Cape Ann artist, to make it come to life. Born in Illinois, he discovered the work of some artists he would later refer to as “the old pros”—accomplished masters such as Winslow Homer, Montague Dawson, and Frederick Waugh. According to Vickery, they were some of the first artists to break through the tyranny of the “brown gravy school” of marine art. He became captivated with their work, and he was determined to learn their techniques and study their use of color. Charles Vickery studied at the Chicago Art Institute and the American Academy of Fine Arts.
It was in 1951 that Eleanor Jewitt, a respected art critic for the Chicago Tribune, first discovered his ability. He was greatly encouraged by her reviews which referred to him as “one of the great painters of this age . . . a bright Winslow Homer.
Few painted marine works as well as seascape artist Charles Vickery. Anyone that hears Vickery’s name is to say that it is synonymous with his skills at capturing the virtual essence, the very soul of water through the medium of paint.
Vickery exhibited throughout the world, including the Royal Academy in London, The Norwegian Embassy, Kennedy Galleries, Rockport Art Association, Union League Club, Chicago Galleries Association, Mystic Seaport Galleries, Palette and Chisel Academy, Findley Galleries and many more. He was awarded numerous awards and prizes and is in “Who’s Who of American Art”. He was also a member of the prestigious American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA). And the Oil Painters of America. He has been published by Frost and Reed, W. Russell Burton, Clipper Ship Heritage Prints, and the Kensington Group.
Recognized as the “finest seascape artist of our time” by the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, Charles Vickery was known for his dramatic paintings of the sea. Vickery brought a new meaning to the term “marine art” as he submerged himself in the study of the constant interplay of nature—the sun, sky, wind and water all working together. He developed the ability to paint the infinite moods of water—to make it come to life. Vickery’s technique and use of color allows us to experience the ever present movement of water, use of color, and movement.