Edwin L. Green, Artist



Photo: Peter Wooten

Port Perry, Ontario

(905) 985-8885




For a  plein air painter, everything is a relevant subject and diversity of experience is a decided asset. Truer words could not be found to describe this artist, who enjoys nothing more than packing up his paints and easel for a day working locally or in nearby Colonial Williamsburg.

Boyhood spent in South Carolina paddling an Old Town canoe we restored or hiking the Smokies with a biologist father. Philosophy and French were undergraduate majors; graduate work at UNC-Chapel Hill in Classics (Greek and Latin). Certificates from the universities of Dijon and Montpellier, France. A career teaching in private and public schools allowed summers in Maine as a Whitewater and Rock-climbing Specialist for the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School. Other work included running the canoe-rig for Chesapeake Bay Foundation. A USCG Master's license made possible a stint as sailboat delivery captain worldwide. Other activities have ranged from hiking the Appalachian and Long Trails end-to-end, biking the Oregon Trail and across France, to living aboard a sailboat for twelve years while sailing and painting all over the world. The violin and viola were an interest for years, but a recent fascination with classical guitar occupies leisure time. Toano,VA (near Williamsburg) is home now with wife Isabelle and our cat, Nez Noir.

Art has been a lifelong pursuit. The inspiration of an extended stay in Villefranche S/M in the early 60's where Cocteau and Matisse did so much fine work, the study in Dijon and Montpellier with their wonderful museums and university offerings, the frequent trips over the years to Paris, the Loire Valley and the Midi, and to Italy and Greece - the Mediterranean periploi, and not least, the core Studio Art Program at Virginia Commonwealth University, all have fueled this passion.  Serious brush to canvas painting revived long ago in Sri Lanka on a sailing trip from Bali to Cyprus. It has continued without interruption to the present. Sailing has always allowed the means for visiting interesting places to paint and for gleaning new ideas. Until recently cruising the coast of Maine in our 36' Cheoy Lee cutter rigged sloop, Arke, provided a respite from southern summers. Now day-sailing on the Chesapeake Bay is a pleasant enough diversion to quell any serious wanderlust.  To escape harsh winter weather Key West and Charleston, SC offer familiar places where watercolors mostly do not freeze.

 September 2017 I did the loop of the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec - long on the bucket list. It required 3000 miles roundtrip driving from Virginia, but  the scenery and speaking 'the French' made it worthwhile. The fishermen were particularly interesting for their pronunciation and their expressions reminded me of the 17th century: Racine, Moliere, Corneille, La Fontaine (much like the Shakespearean English we used to hear in mountains of North Carolina and Virginia - TV has taken care of that, unfortunately). What the 17th century lacked in vocabulary was often rendered by 'American' translated into French. I did not get the painting done I had hoped; the long drive took its toll - a number of attempts looked like something out of grammar school (no comment required).The French did not take Canada and the New World as seriously as they should have and when they finally did it was too late. For them much was going on at home with the Counter-reformation and the myriad problems that struggle engendered. Jacques Cartier's account of his discoveries is hard to read simply because many of the places he describes do not have the same names today. And, his 16th century French requires careful attention - like Chaucer, best read aloud. The majority of towns in Quebec are named after Catholic Saints. Was this a show of devotion or was it an attempt to hedge bets against the Inquisition? Canada's early history is such sad irony -so much invested, so many fruitless hopes and projects. Years ago I stood in the medieval courtyard in Montpellier, France from which Montcalm left for the New World. He never returned; he lost his young life and Canada far away from home on the Plains of Abraham. Canada's history is rich; it is a shame we do not study it in our schools. Go to the Gaspe - just suck it up and drive - it's entirely another world.


La Cote

The coast near Perce, Quebec

 This September (2018) I went back to Maine for a two week circuit. Starting at Mt. Kineo on Moosehead Lake and passing by Mt. Katahdin I headed for the coast at Eastport on the Canadian border. After a couple of days painting in the area, I started working my way along the coast to end up in Portland. The weather was perfect, the temperatures mild, and the nights required cover near dawn. Click Maine 2018 below to see the paintings that resulted.

Towards the end of October I found a non-stop flight to Paris through Travelocity. The flight cost less than the Air Icelandic turbo-prop deal I found in 1968 for my junior year at the Université de Dijon. It took half as long! The hotel offered in the package was new, one of the Mercure chain, at the edge of Montmartre near Place Clichy. It turned out to be average, though a four star. But, the price was right and the room spotless. It was too tempting to pass up! I made a list of what I wanted to paint, stuffed paints and brushes in a pochade box, and made everything fit into carry-on. If you are cheap like me, you buy a 'carnet' of Metro tickets, live out of Monoprix and walk practically everywhere. That in itself is an education. There is no bad Paris and most places are safe. Why, you can even drink the water. Click Paris 2018 below to see the trip.

. Below are links to various places visited and the resulting paintings. Some original paintings are available as are prints in most cases:

Pisgah:       Maine 2011       Provence:       Santo Domingo       Key West

Mt. Rogers       Adirondacks         Wyoming          Lewis and Clark

 Charleston Originals          Charleston Prints

Hunterstown            Gettysburg            Maine 2018


Whether working in Williamsburg or France or Charleston - wherever, painting en plein air has a way of capturing one's soul; every effort is made to work outside each day. The tidewater area offers a true opportunity for any artist: the wealth of subject matter endless, the beauty ever changing. No lifetime could  capture it all.

Painting in the Cour Godeau -Vence, France

September 2009

The column is Roman 2nd Century AD - one of two given by the city of

Marseille to Vence. It is dedicated to the god Mars Vintium. Vintium

becomes Vincium in French before the Latin ending is dropped. In French

the mute -e often indicates the loss of a Latin ending - hence Vence).

Look closely at the painting I am working on. It is of a XIII century

fenetre jumelee. Doesn't it remind you of Romeo and Juliet?

Edwin L. Green, Artist

P. O. Box 744    Toano, Virginia  23168

Phone (757) 566-1582

email:  elgreenart@gmail.com


Copyright 2016  Edwin L. Green   All rights reserved  Digital Watermark protection