Printmaker Charles Beck was born and raised in Fergus Falls, MN and he returned there to establish himself as an artist after completing military service and graduate school in the 1950s. As the predominant theme of his work is landscape, the artist has expressed that he feels fortunate to live so close to the inspirational woods, fields and farmlands of the region. “Just about anything I’ve done of significance is somehow related to the nature and the land around here,” he states.
Although nature is his subject, Charles does not try to merely replicate what he sees. His work is characterized by both a sense of majesty and an appreciation of intricacy, whether he is depicting a far horizon or a single blossom. Patterning typifies his compositions, which tend to impart a sense that all is well.
A graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, Charles took advantage of the G.I. Bill to study art at the University of Iowa. Upon his return home, he went to work as a sign-painter in an old harness shop where there was plenty of room to hang his fine art canvases as well. For a time, he traveled back and forth to the Twin Cities for post-graduate study at the University of Minnesota. There he worked with Cameron Booth, Walter Quirt and Malcolm Myers – and began to experiment with woodcuts, the focus of his work ever since.