When Gloucester native Charles Movalli finished his doctorate in English, he found little work.
Instead, he chose another field known to be a challenging career path — painting.
“When I got out of grad school, I became a painter because there wasn’t any work for Ph.Ds. I went from trying to write stuff to trying to paint things,” he says now with a chuckle.
As it turned out, he would succeed in both endeavors.
Today, Movalli is both a distinguished painter and accomplished writer, having contributed more than 80 articles published in the American Artist magazine, many of which were reprinted in subsequent art books. He also edited nine art books for Watson-Guptill Publications, working with Emile Gruppe, Paul Strisik, Betty Lou Schlemm, Roger Curtis, and Claude Croney. Two of his books appeared in Japanese and Chinese editions.
Over time, Movalli would gain a reputation as a teacher and lecturer, always filling venues to standing room only. He has lectured and conducted art demonstrations at more than 100 different art organizations. He has conducted painting workshops in 24 states, Bermuda, Mexico, Canada, England, France, and Switzerland.
“My mother was a painter and my father was interested in painting, though he was a businessman. They were both very aesthetic and me wanting to be a painter didn’t strike them as being peculiar,” said Movalli, a graduate of Gloucester High School’s Class of 1963.
He is opening a solo show on Sunday at the Rockport Art Association, highlighting his signature work featuring his colorful palette and brushwork. The images include the Gloucester waterfront, as well as one painting he did in homage to Aldro Hibbard, the noted American artist and a founder of the Rockport Art Association. The painting is titled “Hibbard Mountain” because it contains purple mountains in the background — subjects Hibbard often painted.