Artist Profile: Craig Caldwell

Cape Cod Art  /  ART Annual 2022 /

Writer: Rachel Walman

Nauset Break • Oil on canvas, 2019 • 30"x 40" “My brain is 90 percent visual,” explains Craig Caldwell. The Brewster local and instructor at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod and The Cape Cod Museum of Art has spent the last 25 years creating a successful life out of an intense passion for his craft. It’s fair to say that Caldwell’s immersive knowledge and detailed articulation for painting and drawing is akin to that of a philosophy professor.  “I have always been drawing and painting. When I was a little kid, I remember winning art contests in third grade; in high school, it was always my favorite class,” Caldwell says. “And then during my first year at Harvard, I realized I was a visual artist, not a doctor or an engineer.” After switching to a painting major, Caldwell went into graphic design/advertising and ended up finding a career in that field. Following a move to Richmond, Virginia, he approached a nonprofit art center there and asked to teach a drawing class. “That move stemmed from two classes in college that I took from two wonderful artists; when I finished those two classes, I felt like I’d been brainwashed; they taught me the tools and skills of how drawing works. It was like finally learning all the chords on the guitar.” Many of Caldwell’s paintings are of horizons along the beach or marsh, right at a certain point of day, when the sky could change hues from one minute to the next. Caldwell views his art as the expression of an individual moment in a story, which fits his style as a Tonalist, a movement that started in America in the 1880’s. “A story can flow in any direction,” he says. “What you’re trying to do when you tell a…

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