Charles Lewis was born with a restless and creative spirit. In the 1970s and '80s Charles spent nearly a decade living and traveling throughout Europe, Asia and South America. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand, Charles helped remote northern Thai villagers build water systems and bridges. Later, he worked as a construction laborer, surveyor, house painter, building inspector, soil tester on drilling boats in the North Sea, and freelance writer. Since his childhood in Colorado he's loved the mountains and has traveled to Nepal many times to unwind on long Himalayan treks.
Charles began painting as a child, when he got a paint-by-numbers kit. “I quickly started ignoring the lines, blending colors from one area to the next,” he recalls. Buyers completely shunned his first exhibition of oil paintings. "My lunar landscapes full of radioactive mutant creatures attracted attention but didn't exactly match buyers' tastes," he laughs, recalling the rejection.
The influence of his years spent traveling has molded the artist and his fascination with folk art. "I'm attracted to handmade things that reflect a culture," he says. Folk art objects play a central part in his still life paintings. “There is a wonderful quality about painting an object or toy someone made. There are limitless possibilities for creating a story in the imagination. The challenge is to animate the object, bring it alive, make it leap off the canvas and burrow inside your mind. "
His restless, creative side breaks out when the sun goes down. "I love daylight and the outdoors. I drink up color like a sponge. But my art brain kicks in after dark. I paint at night. All kinds of things happen under those bright lights in my studio."