Charles Wilder Oakes

Charles Wilder Oakes - a recovering alcoholic and the folk-artist hero of tiny Port Clyde, Maine - has painted and created fantastical art pieces his whole life. His paintings reflect the tiny coastal town where he was born and raised in a fish shack near the water next to lobster crates, rocks, and pine trees. In 2003, after a lifetime of boozing, he gave up alcohol when an angel appeared and tapped him pointedly on the forehead, directing him to stop. 

Sober ever since, he lives in Spruce Head, Maine, in a house not far from where he grew up, built with his own paint-covered hands. He is currently painting his angel in the scene as he first met it - when it appeared to him as a child while he rode around on his tricycle near the water.  

To see more of Charlie's work, visit Port Clyde, or his website.

Images are courtesy of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine.

Images are scans from originals shot on Fujifilm in the fall/winter of 2007.