Charles Philip Brooks

Painting Statement

Statement on Painting

The tradition of Tonalist painting is one of intimate and nuance-filled art. The aim of my predecessors has been to reach ever-heightening subtleties of form through the poetic rendering of nature. In this spirit, my work is a continuation of a century-old tradition of American landscape painting. Many of my paintings reflect humble subjects, which I return to often and work from with great care. My interest lies in landscapes that remain largely untouched by modern development, but instead preserve the quiet aspects of the natural world.

About the Artist

Charles Philip Brooks is widely known for his evocative Tonalist landscapes. His early work continues a contemporary contemplative romantic tradition, firmly rooted in the American Barbizon mode, as established by such artists as George Inness, Alexander Wyant, Bruce Crane, John Francis Murphy, Dwight William Tryon, and North Carolina’s Elliott Daingerfield. He studied in New England in the studio of highly respected Boston School authority Paul Ingbretson and with the renowned American Barbizon painter Dennis Sheehan.

Brooks’ work explores the Thoreauvian wilderness through landscape subjects, focused on the unspoiled condition of nature. His work is closely aligned with contemporary environmental efforts towards wilderness conservation and sustainability. His landscape paintings are solemn and beautiful testimonies to the presence of nature. Works are often completed in cycles or groups spanning several years and take their titles from the vocabulary of music and poetry, as with his “Villanelles” cycle of paintings 2010-2017 (ongoing).

Known as a gifted, patient, and generous teacher, he was formerly lead instructor for the apprenticeship-style painting program at the landmark Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences. He continues to teach workshops and classes in cooperation with art centers and museums across the country. He also accepts private students. His 2002 essay, “Letter to the Student of Painting,” about the inherent virtue of creative work has served as inspiration for thousands of artisans. 

View Artwork by Charles Philip Brooks in Person

Come see these pieces first hand. We are just a short walk from the ferry and an excellent destination for your visit to San Juan Island.

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