By Jay Johnson
This illustrated consultant to American people artists and their paintings spans a century of painters from Grandma Moses to Kathy Jakobsen and covers such media as sculpture, pottery, and fabric creations.
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Other than the few contacts necessitated by his work, Charlie shunned human companionship and lived as a hermit. Few people had any idea of how he passed his leisure hours. It was only after his death in 1962 that the opening of a garage he had rented behind the local hardware store revealed a treasure trove of paintings, some seventy in all. Peter Charlie was a folk painter, and a remarkably good one. One can find various influences in Charlie's work: religious beliefs, Armenian folk motifs, dramatic moments in American history, and, perhaps most important, a fascination with space, demons, and elements that seem almost to be dredged up from the unconscious.
Farmers rake, sow, and plow; housewives hang out the wash or cook the enormous meals demanded by such strenuous activity. Even the children are busy, milking cows, surface. In recent years carrying the wash, or feeding the chickens. In a sense, Cooper is a memory childhood experience, but he carries later is much of his work is drawn from looking for new ideas and new themes. He painter, for always with him paper and pencil with which he can render quick sketches to be turned into more fully developed drawings on pieces of butcher paper the size of the canvas on which the final painting will be done.
By 1912, Carpenter was running his own mill. He continued to run the mill, off and on, until he retired in 1957. It was during a lull in this business that he began to carve. He describes his career since that time in succinct terms: Carpenter comes to his Somehow, I in nineteen craft naturally. forty, the started carving, mostly animals. nineteen fifty-seven. I kept on carving and am at it A year or two dull, later, down and do I and to keep doing something quit carving until I retired in went back to carving I lost my dear wife and things seemed real dull.
American Folk Art of the Twentieth Century by Jay Johnson