Charles Eckart (Chuck) was born in Oakland and raised in Yosemite Valley. During the early ‘50s, as a teenager, his developing painter’s eye was tutored by the Yosemite Museum’s collection of works by Thomas Hill, Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran.
With a liberal arts degree from the University of the Pacific, he went on to study under Lorser Feitelson, John Altoon and Louis Danzinger at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles.
During the ‘60s, he became an award-winning Art Director at McCann Erickson, San Francisco. He continued on in the commercial art world during the ‘70s and ‘80s as a fine pen and ink freelance illustrator. Larry Duke joined him in sharing a large studio on Folsom Street.
In 1980, the children’s book: How The Forest Grew, featuring Eckart’s illustrations, was published by Greenwillow of William Morrow & Co.
Concurrent with the commercial work, Chuck developed his vision and skill in fine art painting. In the early ‘80s, he became a member of the Allan Stone Gallery in New York. Around the same time, his powerful winged figures caught the attention of Charles Campbell in San Francisco, who became Chuck’s dealer (along with Paul Thiebaud) for the next 22 years.
Chuck and Alice moved from the City to Point Reyes Station in 1985. This move triggered a dramatic shift in his work. Losing interest in the figure as his subject, he became attracted to the landscape and eventually found that he did not want to just record nature as observed, but to create purer paintings that equal and reflect the complexity and beauty of the natural world. Gradually his painting became more abstract, and this is the vein he works in today.
Eckart is also an etcher, and since 1966 his prints have paralleled his painting development. In 2009, he published a collection of 30 original etchings, hand bound and letterpress printed in a very limited edition of 50 copies, entitled Midnight Ride.
Further viewing of Eckart’s work can be done online at: Patricia Sweetow Gallery at 77 Geary St. San Francisco for paintings. Etchings can be seen online at R. E. Lewis and Daughter, San Rafael (relewis.com), and at Larry Warnock Fine Arts (warnockfinarts.com). The Donna Seager Gallery in San Rafael (donnaseagergallery.com) handles the book Midnight Ride and a few paintings. .
Click on an image to see a larger view and the gallery.