“Charlie Hunter has the uncanny ability to seize upon the most ordinary things, and transform them with his brush into bewitching jewels of design and artistic perception.” — Richard Schmid
I live in Bellows Falls, a resurgent mill town on the banks of the Connecticut River in Vermont. My studio is in an old paper mill. There, I like to paint what nature does to what man creates.
I was born in a small town in New Hampshire where we used to swim in the abandoned granite quarries. We had pigs and chickens and rambling barns. I’d walk home from school along the tracks of the Boston & Maine Hillsborough Branch , and read the names and slogans on the box cars that’d roll by, things like “The Nickel Plate Road” and “Santa Fe All The Way.”
When they put a highway through our barns, my family returned to the house built by my great, great, great grandfather in Weathersfield Center, Vermont, where my great aunts lived. Our family still makes maple syrup there and also have a hand-cranked cider press which makes amazing cider but can remove a finger if you’re not careful (just ask Uncle Andrew).
My Dad was an occasional minister who ran a small print shop. There was always a lot of paper and drawing stuff around. I drew a lot. Though I did not appreciate it at the time, in college, I was lucky enough to be forced to draw the figure three days a week from 8:00 am till noon under the tutelage of William Bailey. Afterwards, I got a job designing tour posters for acts like The Clash, REM and The Jerry Garcia Band. I got to design a lot of album covers and became a music manager. I quit that just before the music business imploded and went back to painting a lot and running music trains (live music on long-distance train trips – rootsontherails.com) a few times a year. Now painting is my primary focus.
My goal is to paint beautifully that which is not traditionally considered beautiful. Sorta like a less-grotesque Anselm Keifer in a better mood.
Photo credit: Rachel Portesi