On a recent trip to Charleston, I found myself wandering through a hotel and its gallery (in search of Anne) when I came upon a painter. He was quietly standing beside his easel in a small room down the hall from the hotel lobby, surrounded by dark, colorful paintings. He warmly invited me into his space and we talked for a while as he showed me his recent work.
Fred was very kind and he spoke with an accent as he shared his story with me. He's Belgian and he spent 30 years in international finance before deciding to make a career out of painting. It was something he always did and loved but didn't think it would be more than a hobby. Now he's been painting full time for almost 20 years. I admire him for not writing it off because too much time had passed; it seems painting really is what he was made to do.
From his website: "His recent work has been dominated by Charleston cityscapes – not seen, however, with the traditional eye. The sky is generally very dark, inky “Prussian” blue, and starless. The trees are assembled color masses, balloon-like in appearance, and the buildings are intensely vivid in form and color, an impression heightened by the overhanging darkness. The paintings are bright – but also lonely. The mood is stock still. Most have no human or animal figures. It is as if Edward Hopper painted an abandoned carnival at 3:00 A.M. They are brilliant."
Fred Jamar is represented by Robert Lange Studio in Charleston and is currently the artist in residence at The Vendue.