On Our Cover: Insights Into Nature

It was the generosity of the Door County community that allowed renowned watercolorist Charles “Chick” Peterson to make the peninsula his home in the 1960s, and it is that generosity which he intends to pass on through truthful, artistic observation of nature and human experience.

“In general I think my attitude is reflected in the statement from Ben Franklin, who says we are here to enhance the lives of others. I think it’s a kind of outgrowth of a basic spiritual position,” Peterson said. “In my dim view, the major contribution of Jesus is to encourage us to be helpful to mankind, that is to our fellow creatures. To forgive and to help wherever possible and that’s what my artwork is about. I try to tell the truth whenever I do it.”

While Peterson’s lifetime of work has largely focused on human experience, it is equally a celebration of nature through the seasons. This publication’s vibrant cover art, “Great Egret,” is a tribute to the artist’s own memory of an egret that inhabited the reeds of Eagle Harbor in Ephraim during the warm months — a memory held especially dear during the cold, snowless December week that inspired thoughts of warmer days and led to the painting’s creation.

Photo by Len Villano.

By immortalizing the peninsula’s flora and fauna through watercolor, Peterson hopes to encourage connection between the viewers and subjects of his work.

“Art has its own language and I think it speaks to everyone aesthetically but also I think intellectually. It gives us insights into nature, into life that we might not have had,” Peterson said. “Art, in my opinion, is a kind of conversation and when you look at a painting, you bring your own experience to the viewing so it’s a conversation between you and the artist.”

The watercolor “Great Egret” (8” x 10” framed to 15” x 18”) will be on display during the summer of 2017 and will be auctioned to raise funds for the local charity of the winning bidder’s choice. The minimum bid is $2,000. Please contact the Door County Living office at (920) 839-2121 for current viewing information.
For more on Charles Peterson’s work, visit

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