Some of you already know this. I was in La Paz over the weekend and missed the news. On Friday April 8, Charles Stewart passed away. Charles was quite the character, as any who met him would attest. He and his wife Mary Lou began living full time in Todos Santos in 1985. He was the first foreign artist to set up shop in Todos Santos and he avidly promoted the town. When we first visited Todos Santos in 1993, Charles and Mary Lou made us feel like a part of the community with their welcoming kindness.
You can read more about Charles at the link below (scroll about 1/2 way down the page):
I also have a blog entry from 2007 covering his 85th birthday party.
And finally, my friend Alicia (of Cafe d’Alicia) sent this to me today.
Charles Stewart, may he rest in peace. “Painting is life: it is for the artist to make paint and canvas live. It does not matter whether it be recognizable in concept but in execution, the work must come alive!”
To talk with Charles about color was to be totally immersed in a vibrancy of feeling that could carry you through an ordinary day totally absorbed by the life around you. But, on the other hand, you really didn’t want him to get started on the subject of “The War”! His art has been catalogued by the Smithsonian and collected by many.
Mary Lou is now living in Taos, New Mexico at an elder care residence. When I spoke with her on Sunday, she was in good spirits and said that Charles was ready to go. She told me that he had had a couple of bad days with indigestion and was always very tired. He passed on Saturday, April 8th, sometime after noon as the nurse had gone to check on him and see if he wanted any lunch and he sent her away saying he just wanted to sleep. On checking in a few hours later, he was gone. He would have turned 90 on May 22nd. For many of us, he was the founding father of our “extranjero” community and will always remember him fondly.
For any who wish to, Mary Lou welcomes phone calls. Her direct phone number is 575-751-4213. Charles’ son is currently out of the country so we won’t know of any funeral/memorial plans in Taos until his return.
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