Charles Beck

Featured in hotel room number Sixteen

“Art is about seeing qualities you had never been aware of before; a nice line, a nice shape, a nice spatial relationship with colors.” That’s how Fergus Falls, Minn., artist Charles Beck once described his craft. Known primarily as a landscape painter and woodcut artist, Beck finds a great deal of inspiration in his surroundings. “Just about anything I’ve done of significance is somehow related to the nature and the land around here. The closer it is to the land, the better I think my work is.”

But Beck didn’t always feel that way. “There was a time when I thought of myself as a country boy from Minnesota who’d like to be a big city artist from New York and paint about the world,” Beck recalls. “Thinking like that can lead you to do the worst kind of art. You have to paint what you’re interested in. I’d rather paint a plowed field with some conviction than paint a crucifixion with none.”