After many years of teaching art, Charlie Allen now devotes his time to painting and traveling. For several years Charlie worked at the Peabody Museum (now Peabody-Essex Museum) in Salem, MA; while there, he was asked to copy marine paintings and his interest in oils began. This interest later led to portrait commissions. Charlie's portrait work and oil paintings hang in various institutions and private collections on the North Shore of Boston.
Charlie is a graduate of New England School of Art and Design, Massachusetts College of Art (B.F.A.) and Lesley University (M. Ed. in Art Education - Creative Arts in Learning.) He recently retired as assistant professor at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA.
Charlie's art work is influenced by his advertising/illustration and design background and his discovery of oil paints. His favorite medium is working in pen and ink on paper---sometimes on large surfaces using large brushes. He is intrigued with the abstract and negative/positive of large calligraphic shapes on one end of the spectrum, and the marks /impressions achieved with paint, on the other. In his Italian pen and ink drawings, for example, he is taken up with the marks and shapes cypress trees make within a landscape. His paintings, such as "Noon Haze on the Arno", reflect his interest in light and color at different times of the day, the feeling seasonal heat radiates. Charlie wants viewers of his art work to experience as many senses as possible: perhaps hear feet on the pavement, experience a desire to reach out and touch fruit. These sensual experiences become the background 'music' of his paintings.
Several years ago, Charlie was commissioned by the town of Marblehead, MA to paint Marblehead Harbor as a gift for the Grasse (France) - Marblehead Twinning. The painting was presented as a gift to the town of Grasse and is on exhibit at the Grasse City Hall. In 2013, Charlie had a residency at the Villa Il Palmerino (Associazione Culturale Il Palmerino) in Florence, Italy. He spent most of his time there sketching, and from these sketches he returned home to his Salem studio and completed fifteen paintings for a solo exhibit at Marblehead Arts Association, entitled: "Italian Hours: Shadowing Henry James". Recently, he had a solo exhibit, entitled "Paris: Point of Departure" (October 2014) at the French Cultural Center in Boston, MA.