Charles Keck Biography

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Charles Keck (1913-2003) Charles Keck was born in Iowa in 1913. He moved to Los Angeles in 1920, where he graduated from Fairfax High. From 1932 to 1934, he majored in art at Los Angeles City College, and was awarded a three year scholarship to Chouinard Art Institute where he studied with Millard Sheets, Phil Dike, and Phil Paradise from 1935-38. In the late ‘30s through the early ‘40s he worked for Columbia Pictures as a background artist until being drafted to serve in WWII. While serving in the Signal Corps, he was stationed in Alaska where he produced a series of watercolors depicting Alaskan landscapes, genre scenes, and military life. He returned to Los Angeles in 1945, teaching at Hollywood Art Center School for several years before enrolling at UCLA to complete his Master’s Degree in Art Instruction. After graduating from UCLA, he taught art at Lincoln and Garfield High Schools in Los Angeles, retiring in 1982.

From the 1930s through the 1980s he produced works in various media, primarily favoring hand–ground pigments in watercolor and gouache. During this period he exhibited with numerous organizations including the California Watercolor Society, and the Laguna Beach Art Association from whom he received a First Prize in 1946. Documenting the historic California scene in both landscape and genre compositions, he painted from life on location throughout the streets, harbors, rural farmlands, and beaches of Los Angeles, Orange County, and Ventura.

Biographical information:

Courtesy estate of the artist-2003

California Watercolor