Charles Muldowney

Charles has known the smell of oil and turpentine since he was very young. His mother started oil painting with Martin Jackson at PMA when Charles was a toddler. As he grew older she let him use her paints and art supplies and by the time he was 16 Charles’ mother encouraged him to drive into Philadelphia to study painting with Elisabeth Ferry a professor at Tyler College of Art and Design. Charles went on to enter the Philadelphia College of Art and receive a BFA in painting. While at PCA Charles studied with Jane Piper and Larry Day.

Charles received a Violetta de Mazia Trust grant to study the paintings at the Barnes Museum using Dr. Barnes’ methods.

Charles did his graduate studies at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts earning an MFA in painting. While at PAFA, Charles studied with Irving Petlin, Yvonne Jacquette, Sidney Goodman, Bruce Samuelson and many other distinguished artists.

Charles has exhibited his work at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Museum, Phil., The Museum of History and Art, SLC, The Museum of Art at BYU, Villanova University Gallery and Cabrini College Gallery.

Charles’ prints traveled to museums across the United States in a two year exhibition sponsored by the Pratt Institute Graphics Center. His prints have also been exhibited in Spain, Portugal and France.

Charles is married and has twelve children. His older children have studied painting and printmaking and have graduated from Tyler, UArts and PAFA.

Charles has taught Art and World Religions to cadets at the Valley Forge Military Academy and College for the past twenty four years.

Charles is a representational painter with an interest in spiritual narrative. The landscape is a frequent instrument for Charles’ spiritual metaphor.

Artist's Statement

Speaking of a ceramic cup, Lao Tzu said that it was the void in the clay that made the lump into a vessel of use. The empty cavity in the clay is what provides a place to fill with liquids. This metaphor illustrates that the invisible gives greater purpose to the visible. Our existence is both physical and spiritual. We often forget the spiritual or altogether ignore it because it is unseen.

My aim is to communicate the spiritual in our life. It is a struggle to express faith in the divine, eternal and sacred through a search for it in the natural world. My work is a pilgrimage to the unseen; it is an expression of the spiritual in a language without words.

The Book

Charles is a published writer and is presently working on a book project that incorporates his talents as an artist and writer. This book, “Uncovering the Lights” highlights some little known personalities in the Bible whose lives have provided moving examples of faith, loyalty, courage and compassion. These noble people have left a significant legacy which Charles feels should be heralded. Each chapter is an essay on one of these people accompanied by a monotype illustration representing each of the “uncovered lights”.

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