The Fledgling Artist
A resident of Owens Cross Roads, Alabama, Charles H. Francis, “The Fledgling Artist,” has long been interested in art. In junior high and high school, he loved to draw, paint, and do ceramics.
His main interests were caricatures, landscapes, wildlife and pottery.
Charles grew up a “Traveling” man! He was born in Chicago, Illinois, moved to Kendall Park, New Jersey, in 1969 for 3 years, and then moved to Bryan, Ohio, where he planted roots until he joined the Army in 1982.
Charles’ military career took he and his family around the world. Missouri, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Fort Bliss, Texas, Germany, Fort Sam Houston, Texas again, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Fort Rucker, Alabama.
After leaving the Army in 1996, Charles returned to Ohio until 2018 when he moved to Alabama.
Late in his senior year of high school, he met the love of his life, Cherie Boothman, and they ended up getting married shortly after graduation. The era was the late 70’s, fraught with economic difficulty and Charles ended up joining the US Army to be able to support a family. This put a hold on Charles’ interest in art, though while in the Medevac he redesigned his company patch. “MAST to Save A Life,” the 507th Medical Company Air Ambulance.
One thing the military is known for is its Morale and Welfare support division. Each Military Installation has many craft opportunities which Charles, his wife Cherie, and son Joshua would use. At Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Charles took up painting again. Only this time he painted figurines for a manufacturer of crushed pecan figures and was so well known there were backlogs for his work.
In 1996 Charles left the military and returned to nursing as a Nurse Manager until he suffered a massive heart attack and had to retire due to heart failure. Charles, again having to make a life altering decision, decided to retire from work and slowly returned to his hobby of painting.
Now, with his life changing from a rapid pace, having to make life-saving decisions on the spot, he could finally slow down and enjoy the intricacies of bringing life from plain cloth and pigments and the encouragement from brush strokes. With more time on his hands since retiring, Charles has started taking classes in art again, both online and a few in class.
Charles’ primary medium is acrylic. In years past one would need solvents when using oil paints. However, now with the advent of water-based oil paints he has begun working with oils again, so in the near future you should seeing both acrylic and oil paintings.
Charles currently resides in Alabama with his wife of 41 years, who frequently sends him to his room to paint so he does not bother her. His son Dr. Joshua is 40 years old and a College Dean, who also banishes dad to the art room, so we should be seeing much artwork to come. A portion of all sales is donated to wounded veteran programs.