Charles Movalli

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Charles Movalli
We are sorry to have to say that Charles has passed away. We will miss him greatly. March 20, 2016. -Nancy
Charles Movalli is a great ambassador for the Cape Ann School.   Cape Ann is the longest active artist colony in the United States. That it has flourished for so long comes as no surprise, for the landscape is one painting after another, just waiting to be painted. After all this time, you’d think the nay-sayers of art, the It’s-all-been-done crowd, might have a point, but Motif #1 still draws painters, each of whom produce artworks that are distinct, unique, and groundbreaking.

Charles’ lecture on the Cape Ann School is not to be missed. Winslow Homer, Childe Hassam, Edward Hopper, John Sloan, Emile Gruppe are a few of the colony regulars going back nearly 200 years.

The artists Charles admired and learned from as a young painter (Emile Gruppe, Carl Peters, Aldro Hibbard) all heavily focused on composition, and thus his paintings have a solid structure even amid dinghies bobbing at the dock and buildings listing under the weight of their years.


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Charles has a PhD in English and has written books and articles galore.  The books, though pricey – if you can find one, are fantastic reads for any student of painting covering not only many laudable artists, but also composition, color, and the wielding of the brush.

An article on his own work appeared in American Artist, June, 1986. His work has also appeared in Frank Webb’s Dynamic Composition, Wendon Blake’s Artist’s Guide to Using Color, and Stephen Doherty’s Handbook to Landscape Painting.The following slide show is a gift to all of us from Charles himself, chronicling his years of teaching workshops.  All painters out there will relate to his choice of accompanying music – we can’t always get what we want!  Thank you to Dale Ratcliff for all her photos throughout the years of her husband’s workshop-related travels.

Charles Movalli has lectured and demonstrated painting techniques for over a hundred different art organizations. He has judged shows in Massachusetts, North and South Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Indiana, Kansas and Bermuda. He has given workshops in 24 states, Bermuda, Mexico, Canada, England, France, and Switzerland.

Charles Movalli was a Contributing Editor to American Artist magazine, for which he has written over 70 articles on art and artists. His articles have also appeared in the Southern AccentsSouthern BoatingSouthwest Art, and The American Art Review.

He wrote a historical preface to William Hunt’s On Painting and Drawing. He also edited:How to Paint Successful Seascapes with Roger Curtis, Color in Outdoor Painting with Roer Curtis, Croney on Watercolor with Claude Croney, Painting with Light with Betty Lou Schlemm (also issued in Japanese), The art of Landscape Painting with Paul Strisik (also issued in Chinese), Gruppe on PaintingBrushworkGruppe on Color, and Brushwork for the Oil Painter, all with Emile Gruppe.

He is listed in Who’s Who in American Art. Education BA Clark University, Worcester, Ma. Ma and PhD UNiversity of Connecticut, Storrs, Ct.

Click for press coverage of Charles Movalli

“It can’t look like you’ve worked hard and long, even if you have. A painting should be done quickly with both your intellect and your nerves. When they give out, stop.”

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I was browsing through my favorite artists and came across this painting by Charles Movalli. Wow! This is how I want to paint, with abandon: free brush work, inventive color, you can see the excitement in this piece. Movalli studied with Emille Gruppe, who I’m currently reading. I found an out-of-print edition of his book on painting on Amazon, and am devouring it now” – Ed Terpening

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