Folk artist Charlie Frye is famous for capturing the scenes he grew up with in Western North Carolina – roosters, rusty trucks, bearded men and churches. He paints bold. He paints fast. I love his work.
I’ve known Charlie long enough to know that when I asked him to paint over 30 paintings about a sea that vanished millions of years ago he’d tug on his paint spattered overalls and say, “Bernie…..have you lost your damn mind?”
Which is exactly what he said.
Then he got busy.
Painting the Lost Sea
Over the course of winter, Charlie hunkered down and started slinging paint. Charlie isn’t one of those dainty painters that’s easy to lampoon – the dandy landscape artist that paints and dabs and washes watercolors across an easel.
No, Charlie paints on sheets of plywood, barn tin, shingles and old trucks. Often, these folksy items to be painted (except the trucks) are just thrown down on his studio floor. Charlie will stand over them, smear on the paint with fat brushes and fingers. And gradually, these powerful images emerge.
Here are some of them you’ll see in the Lost Sea Expedition documentary (illustrations by Charlie Frye).
Thanks for illustrating the Lost Sea Expedition Charlie!
If you’re looking for great folk art, want to enroll in one of his painting classes or have a commission in mind, you can find Charlie right here at his Folk Keeper Gallery and Antiques or on his Facebook page. Ask nicely and he might paint you a vanished sea…