Charles H. Woodbury was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, while an undergraduate at MIT he became at 19 the youngest member of, the Boston Art Club. After graduation, he painted the New England coastline exhibiting and selling his works.
In 1891 went to study at Academie Julian in Paris. It was the time of the Impressionist and Monet was going full-tilt boogie. After only six months, however, he went to Holland to study the techniques of the modern Dutch seascape painters.
Upon his return, he opened a studio in Boston where he would work during the winters. His summers spent in the small fishing village of Ogunquit, Maine; there he founded one of the most successful summer art colony schools that even survived his death.
Woodbury had little formal training himself other than a few months of classes at the Academy Julian in Paris.
Ironically he became one of the most sought-after teachers of his generation.
Woodbury maintained a close friendship with John Singer Sargent and many of his contemporaries, including J. Alden Weir and Childe Hassam.
He was president of the Boston Watercolor Society and became a full member of the National Academy of Design in 1907.
Woodbury’s many on-the-spot sketches and etchings produce a sense of motion through quick, sure-handed strokes.
Seeing and understanding movement was fundamental to his art and teaching, and is reflected in his maxim: “Paint in verbs, not nouns.”