Through his vivid, graceful paintings, Charles Berry reveals a deep appreciation of natural beauty. "I've always had an affinity for nature", he admits. "We're endowed as the protectors of this paradise we live in, and hopefully I can stir things up and awaken people with this art.
With eye-catching and conscious raising in equal measure, Berry's artwork ranges from impressionistic landscapes to faithful depictions of animals (including exotic birds, zebras, and big cats) in the wild. Painting primarily on canvas and linen, he notes "oils are my first love, but I also paint in acrylics."
In any medium, Berry's paintings capture a rare sense of immediacy and intimacy. “I try to draw people right inside the picture, and make them feel that they are actually there. If it's a painting of an animal, I want the viewer to feel like they can reach out and touch it; if it's a landscape, they should feel like they can pick the flowers.”
Born in Missouri in 1942, Berry spent most of his childhood in Detroit, where he became interested in art at an early age. "But I got off to a rocky start", he laughs. "I failed at art in high school, and my formal training has been minimal." Despite a few early setbacks, I know my life is about art. I can't do anything else. It's just one of those things that I know I was meant to do."
After seven years in corporate marketing and advertising, Berry and his wife opened a graphic design and custom engraving business in San Diego, California. Following three successful years of award winning designs, it was apparent that the time was right for Berry to devote himself full time to his painting career. His growing list of accomplishments includes a special distinction: Berry's animal portfolio has recently been accepted for the 1997 Bio Diversity Exhibit at the New York Museum of Natural History.
Being an avid traveler since college, Berry's constant state of motion has fueled his artwork. "I've done everything from touring the art museums of Europe to petting porpoises while living on the Caribbean for a year on a sailboat. All the observances have been food and education for painting." Berry recently moved to Arizona and has -at least for the moment- settled down in a geographic area.
Happily married for twenty-four years, Berry emphatically credits his wife with playing a major role in the development of his art…not to mention being an enthusiastic partner in his world wide travels, as well as sharing his love for motorcycling.
It comes as no surprise that Berry's love of the outdoors infuses his work with the confines of the art studio. "Animals, humans and nature are all interwoven; it's important to keep this balance intact. Through my artwork, I try to remind people of the earth's beauty, and hopefully make them more aware of their responsibility for the well being of this world."