I am a folk artist creating and living a wonder-filled, living history revival in which I put into the action the words of Thoreau when he beautifully proclaimed ….
““We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us even in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavour. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”
― Henry David Thoreau
I swear, Isnt that incredible? I shook when I first read it, and then smiled realizing exactly what living art would look like. For me I want my art to be something that isnt turned off or on; put simply just on a canvas or stitched into a shirt- No I want to live my art. When I walk down the street, or grocery shop, tailor, communicate with fellows, everything, all aspects of my life… From my 19th century everyday influenced dressing style, to my dirty wild hair, to my rustic Cracker Barrel aesthetic house, to my individual art projects and yet even more importantly from my everyday interactions with people, my choices, my handshakes, my sense of morality, and overall and most signficantly my intentionality.
Moreover I want to live well.
My faith as a Transcendentalist and artist has unfurled a whole new world before my eyes, in which I am invited and inspired and cant help but live outloud, engaged, wildly, boldly, intentionally and very colorfully.
Nicknamed the “Cowboy Prince” , my childhood was spent in coonskin caps and cowboy boots, getting into all sorts of adventures climbing trees and hiding in bushes, baking cookies, and making costumes out of my sisters clothing. I always wanted to live in a different time period, and dappled with a ten year addiction to Civil War reenacting, excessive book reading, tap dancing and yet still cannot shake my passion for all things past. I figured I might as well embrace it fully.
The greatest thing that happened to me as I got older was learning how to sew, and with that initial introduction to art, it later led to other gateway mediums such as my painting, wood burning, quilting and sculpture. I am now embarking on a most glorious journey in search of my own El Dorado. I also work as a Costume Historian and designer and am working to towards becoming a professional Folklorist and writer.
This online periodical I have set up is an attempt at categorizing and most importantly sharing the nostalgic yearnings of my heart with a larger audience. These grainy images and artifacts are what truly turn me on. It is a way for me as an adult to maintain my sense of childhood wonder- which I feel is truly important for successful contentment- and furthermore cultivate it into the very atmosphere in which I dwell.
Well welcome y’all, set yourself down and rest a while- Lord knows! I got biscuits in the oven, while we remember and re-envision our world.
Welcome to the Cowboy Prince Castille
Ride Boldly Ride,
-Charlie C. Umhau
*for my own work, check out: