Painting in Finland on the Kemijoki River, summer 2008

Painting in Finland on the Kemijoki River, summer 2008


Charles Cushing was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1959, but has lived and worked in center city Philadelphia for over 30 years. He attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, graduating in 1988. While at the academy, he studied under celebrated painters such as Arthur DeCosta, Seymour Remenick, and Sidney Goodman, among others. After graduating, his focus turned to landscape and cityscape paintings, and he has become well-known locally for his large Philadelphia scenes. Over 500 of his original oil paintings are in public and private collections, mostly in the Philadelphia area.

In recent years, Cushing has taken several trips to Argentina and Italy to paint, and has also painted in Finland and Canada, as well as throughout the U.S.. The basis of his work is "plein-air" painting directly from the motif; often these paintings are the basis for more ambitious canvases that are produced in the studio. He also occasionally paint portraits, still-lifes and nudes, as well as imaginary "capriccios" and historic views based on period photographs.

me painting on a wall in Cortona, Italy, 2016

In 2004, Cushing served as "guest artist" of the Bellevue building in honor of its 100th anniversary. He executed 10 large canvases in the lobby of the building depicting the history of the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel. He was also honored by The Philadelphia College of Physicians for his efforts in the fundraiser to keep Thomas Eakins' iconic painting "The Gross Clinic" in Philadelphia. His contribution consisted of painting a life-size replica in a public space to raise awareness of that painting. 

painting in Rittenhouse Square....

painting on Calle Jorge Newberry, in Colegiales, Buenos Aires, 2012 (photo by Lesley Mitchell)

Full-sized copy of 'The Gross Clinic" (Thomas Eakins) painted in 2007

detail of copy of "the Gross Clinic."

Copy of Manet's "The Fifer" drawn at age 15.


San Francisco Academy of Art, 1976
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts 1984-1988 (received certificate 1988)

A cast drawing (Michelangelo's 'Dying Slave') from first year at PAFA, 1984, black and red conte white white chalk on paper.


I paint in oil on canvas in the tradition of European "easel painting" from the Renaissance to the 21st century. I have many influences: the Great Masters, the Impressionists, 20th-Century painters such as Edvard Munch, Edward Hopper and Georgio di Chiricho. I enjoy painting from life, but also I am even more interested - ultimately - in making "studio paintings" that contain elements of memory and imagination. Of course, I consider these two genres to be related and to support each other, that is to say, when painting from life I impose my personal design instincts on the subject matter, and, when painting from imagination I have reference to the knowledge I have gained from previous observation. The ultimate goal is a seamless hybrid, of content and execution, style and substance.


Multiple Exhibitions in various regional juried art shows.........

2006-2009 Montgomery County Community College
1990-2019 Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Annual, Philadelphia, Pa.
2005 Kevin Butler Gallery, Edgartown, Mass.
2004 Two Penn Center, Philadelphia, Pa.
2004 Guest Artist, Bellevue Building, Phila., Pa.
2003 Daffy's Department Store, N.Y., N.Y.
2001 Union League of Philadelphia
2001 Carspecken-Scott Gallery, Wilmington, De.
1998 Cheltenham Art Center, Philadelphia, Pa.
1997 Cafe Gallery 1521, Philadelphia, Pa.
1996, 1992 PAFA Fellowship Exhibit, Phila., Pa.
1995 Art in City Hall, Philadelphia
1993 Gross McCleaf Gallery, Phila., Pa.
1990 Factotum Gallery, Phila., Pa.
1989 Studio Les Diaboliques Gallery, Phila., Pa.
1988, 87 Cresson Student Exhibition,PAFA


2015 First Prize Chestnut Hill Plein-air festival

2006 First prize, Scenes of the Schuylkill, Montgomery County Community College
2003 Best in Show, Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Annual, Phila., Pa.
1988 Honorable Mention, Henry Pearson Landscape Prize, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts


The Union League Of Philadelphia The Connelly Foundation

"Lincoln Funeral Cortege, Philadelphia, 1865" 48 x 84" (in the collection of The Union League of Philadelphia")


 Leon Levy Associates

The Federal Reserve Building

Aetna Life Insurance, Phila., Pa.
Parkway Corporation, Phila., Pa.
Lubert-Adler Real Estate, Phila., Pa.
Kevin Butler, Edgartown, Mass.
Silverberg and Associates, Phila., Pa.
Philadelphia Financial, San Francisco, Ca.
Carrow, Doyle, Berwyn, Pa.


Studio Visit Magazine
Philadelphia Magazine
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Weekly Press, Philadelphia

Drawing in "el cementerio de las Recoleta, Buenos Aires" (detail from a large painting)