April 13, 2003 - Personal Web Site: Art unexpectedly became a serious endeavor for Charles Denton while in the Peace Corps in Chile

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Chile: Peace Corps Chile : The Peace Corps In Chile: April 13, 2003 - Personal Web Site: Art unexpectedly became a serious endeavor for Charles Denton while in the Peace Corps in Chile

By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, April 13, 2003 - 10:34 am: Edit Post

Art unexpectedly became a serious endeavor for Charles Denton while in the Peace Corps in Chile

Art unexpectedly became a serious endeavor for Charles Denton while in the Peace Corps in Chile

Art unexpectedly became a serious endeavor for Charles Denton while in the Peace Corps in Chile

Charles Ewing

Husband of Barbara Rea Ewing who is the granddaughter of Alice Geneva Denton.

(The following in its entirety is written by Charles Ewing)


Art unexpectedly became a serious endeavor for Charles while in the Peace Corps in Chile. Obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Wood Science and Technology presented the opportunity to work in this field at the University of Chile in Santiago, a position which lasted a year and a half until political upheaval due to Chile's new presidency under Salvador Allende virtually closed the University. During this time, Charles had fortunately begun to pursue a latent fascination with painting, an interest developed in his youth watching his father, Frank, work magic on a canvas. He began studying drawing and painting in evening classes with Thomas Daskam, a well known Chilean painter. At about the same time his job with the University was shutting down, another Peace Corps program connected with the Chilean Department of Forestry and Wildlife offered him a job based on his new-found talent to illustrate a Field Guide to Chilean Mammals, a project already underway.

After two enjoyable years exploring the Andean Cordillera in search of indigenous wildlife to record with pen and ink and oils on canvas, he left the Peace Corps, returning to Seattle, Washington to work for another two years as staff illustrator with the Department of Wildlife at the University of Washington. For this work he began exploring the potential of the scratchboard medium.

In 1975, returning to his home state of New Mexico, he opened the Ewing Fine Art Gallery in Cimarron. Here, along with a renewed interest in oil painting, he also began experimenting with various recipes for making his own more permanent and versatile clay surfaced panels for fine art application. Unfortunately, the Cimarron gallery was short lived, burning to the ground a year later. This incident forced a move, mainly for financial reasons, to an isolated mountain cabin in the Southern Colorado mountains where Charles spent a snowbound winter in virtual solitude. This "Walden Pond" experience in which he immersed himself in the force and beauty of a mountain wilderness resulted in a profound respect for the fundamental integrity of nature, a message that was to pervade his work from then on.

Always a versatile artist both in subject matter and in media, and always with a strong emphasis in good craftsmanship, he has become well known over the last twenty years for his unique ink on clay and oil on panel renderings of wildlife, character portraits, figure work and landscapes.

In 1992 he and his wife Barbara decided to manufacture and market, on a small scale, the unique clay based art surface Charles had developed and used over the years. A year later the rights to this product were handed over to Ampersand Art Supply, a company specifically created to manufacture and nationally distribute this product under the name of Claybord, patent pending. This company has grown from a single product base to the premiere fine art panel manufacturer in the country, offering four unique surfaces accommodating almost all artistic media, along with tool kits and artist support products, and world wide distribution.

Now, he and Barbara, along with a good dog and a few horses enjoy the rural life of the San Luis Valley in their century old adobe home near Antonito, occasionally packing into the high country or traveling to Mexico for fresh ideas on life.

"Winter Acequia"

In summer this ditch runs full of mountain snowmelt. In early Spring it offers a graveled bed for violet shadows.

"Compliments of Color"

In Chiapas, Mexico color abounds. With this young avocado saleswoman, I chose to work with Alizarin crimson and Viridian, true complimentary colors"


Jagged peaks are at their colorful best in warm morning or evening light.

"Easy Grace"

To watch one elk float over a fence with 'easy grace' is enchanting. This piece, however, was inspired by witnessing thirty-eight bulls, one after the other rhythmically jump two fences right in front of us! Mesmerizing!

"Menagerie of Light"

Light's fragments filtered through a decaying roof of an old Southern Colorado potato cellar is the subject of this piece. Of secondary importance are the animals that emerge from the shadows on a closer look.

"Smoking Cinders, 484"

The steam engine was a boon to the settlement of Colorado's San Luis Valley and remains a significant presence transporting vacationers through the high country, as well as through a journey in time. The Cumbres-Toltec Scenic Railroad, the highest and longest steam engine ride in the world, travels between Antonito, Colorado and Chama, new Mexico. This is a rendition of the '484' rounding a bend in the high country of the South San Juan Mountain Range.

(To learn more about the work of Charles Ewing, please visit www.charlesewing.com .)

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Story Source: Personal Web Site

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Chile; Art



By Patricia Jones (24-119-58-195.cpe.cableone.net - on Saturday, May 08, 2004 - 6:47 pm: Edit Post

Charlie!!! I don't believe it!! We served in Chile together (well, you and a bunch of entomologists and Mike Jones and a bunch of hydrologists served, I was a pain in the butt having a baby!!) Whatever hapended to Carol Schamburger (sp), and Andy the Shy One? Mike and I obviously did not make it, Michelle is now 33 (Lordy, has it been that long, are we THAT old!?!) and still in school in AZ, Mike has remarried and lives in Italy and life is good for me (two more children, one grandson) and i piddle with needle art and mom got through anesthesia residency and is a retired anesthesiolgist and a protrait and china artist in Az. So glad to see your name, I've been wondering about you and your art. blueeyes29@cableone.net if you get this. Hugs and best wishes!!! Patricia

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