Charles Michael Dwyer
Charles Dwyer, one of my oldest and closest friends passed away in January, 2015.
Charles and I met at the RI School of Design in 1966 as Freshmen and remained friends all these years. We had been out of contact for a while but he still remains one of the biggest influences on my life and especially on my paintings. Charlie led the way and got me started back in the sixties. He introduced me to the work of Edward Hopper. Both he and his wife Kathleen were accomplished painters before I really started. They were both a continuing inspiration when I needed it the most. Charlie's paintings are still unparalleled in their content and craftsmanship. Charlie was way ahead of the realists and his paintings all had meaning beyond the obvious pictorial descriptions. He spent most of his life on Aquidneck Island, surrounded by water and beaches full of people that permeated his work and soul. He was one of the best and I will miss him dearly. Luckily, we have his work. My heart goes out to his family. I hope Kathleen continues painting. I have been in contact with Charles' son Michael who is documenting his father's work and am hoping to have some additional images of his paintings up here soon. The current ones were sent to me in a sheet of slides by Charlie in 2010 and are some of his older paintings. Thanks to my photographer friends for helping me get them scanned. Could not have done it without them. Another photographer friend just sent me a photo of Charlie in the apartment he and I shared on Benefit Street in Providence.
After I had been painting for a number of years I remember complaining to Charlie about all the electronic gadgets and digital cameras that were popping up in the 80's. I thought they would eventually replace artists like us, make us obsolete. Charlie said "Warren, they can never replace us, we are magicians, wizards. Very few can do what we do...." He was right. The images below are just a very small portion of the paintings he created in his lifetime.
Below is an excerpt from a Rhode Island newspaper.
Charles, an artist, graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1970. He was awarded many scholarships which enabled him to study painting at RISD, attend the RISD Senior Year European Honors Program in Rome, Italy, study at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and at Boston University where he received a Master degree in Painting. As an Arts Educator, Charles taught at Rhode Island School of Design, the University of Michigan, Bridgewater State College, Wesleyan University and Rhode Island College.
Charles received numerous awards for painting during his career including grants from the RI State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, an Arthur Rackham Grant from the University of Michigan and the Prix de Rome in Painting from the American Academy in Rome. He traveled throughout Europe and the United States and resided in Rome, Italy for two years. His work has been widely exhibited in galleries and museums and is in many private collections.