My goal is to be a pure painter. I want to put pigment on canvas in a way that captures the emotions of my visual experience while satisfying the demands of my intellect.”

Charles Muench is an artist living in between the Sierra range and the high plains desert of Nevada. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts-with great distinction degree from San Jose State University. He studied primarily under Maynard D. Stewart, a student of Frank Vincent DuMonds and the son of renowned Utah landscape painter, LeConte Stewart. After receiving his degree, Charles attended classes at the Art Students League with David Leffel, Michael Burban, Jack Faragasso, and others. In 1992, Charles moved to Madrid, Spain, where he painted the city and countryside, studied Velasquez, copied master works in the Prado, and attended classes at the Circulo Bellas Artes.

Charles is the featured cover artist in the April 2013 issue of Southwest Art Magazine. Charles is featured in the June 2010  issue of American Art Collector. He has been featured in the June 2007 and the June 2003 issue of Southwest Art  as well as the May 2005 issue of Plein Air magazine.

Charles artwork will be included in the prestigious 2014 Coeur d'Alene Art Auction, the largest auction of western art in the nation. His painting, “Crystal Cove Patterns,” is now in the Irvine Museum’s permanent collection. In 2012, Charles was honored to receive the "Irvine Museum Gold Medal Award" at the California Art Club's 101st Annual Exhibition. His painting was purchased by the historic California Club of Los Angeles, CA, and will hang in their permanent collection. In 2011, Charles received the Southwest Art ward of Excellence at the California Art Club's 100th Annual Juried Exhibition. In 2010, Charles won the Edgar Payne Award for Best Landscape at the California Art Club's 99th Annual Juried Exhibition. He was unanimously elected a Signature Member of the California Art Club. Charles received the First Place Award at the 2008 Heritage Art Exhibition presented by Joan Irving Smith as well as the Collector’s Choice Award at the 2008 and 2005 Maynard Dixon Country Invitational. Charles was awarded the First Place Award and “Best Painting of the Cove” Award at the 2007 and 2005 Crystal Cove Alliance Invitational in Laguna Beach, CA. He also was honored with the Best of Show/Artist’s Choice Award at the 2006 Telluride Plein Air Show. Charles received the Gold Medal Award at the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Event in October 2002. Charles has had his work included in the Arts for the Parks Top 100 Exhibit. His work is accepted annually in the California Art Club’s Annual Gold Medal Exhibit and the Gilcrease Museum’s American Art in Miniature Exhibition

“The philosophy of The Irvine Museum is that the great works created by artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries are antecedent to the great works created by contemporary landscape painters and Charles is one of the best examples of that philosophy. I have long admired his work. I have always believed that landscape painting is the most noble of pictorial arts. Certainly, the most difficult goal of landscape painting is to paint the light, but few artists are capable of doing it perfectly, and Charles is in that elite group.”

-Jean Stern, Executive Director, Irvine Museum, CA.

BORN           1966


Circulo Bellas Artes, Madrid, Spain.

Art Students League of New York, New York City.

Instructors: David Leffel, Jack Faragasso, Michael Burban.

National Academy of Design, New York City.

Instructors: James Childs, Leo Neufeld.

Private Instruction with Michael Aviano, New York City.

Sheffield Polytechnic University, Sheffield England.

Instructor: Martin Pritchard R.A.

San Jose State University, San Jose, CA.

Bachelor of Fine Arts- with great distinction, Painting.

Instructor: Maynard D. Stewart.


California Art Club, Signature Member.


            Southwest Art, Featured cover artist, April 2013.

            Art of the West, Sierra Pack Trip, July 2012.

          American Art Collector, Feature Article, June 2010.

          Southwest Art, “My World,” Feature Article, June 2007.

          Plein Air Magazine,“Artist’s Profile,” Feature Article, May 2005.

          International Artist, “Master Painters of the World,” Aug/Sept 2003.

          Southwest Art, “A Man for all Seasons,” Feature Article, June 2003.

Southwest Art, “The Feminine Form,” November 2001.

Southwest Art, “Artists to Watch,” November, 2000.


          2014          Coeur d’Alene Art Auction, Reno, NV.

          2014-2013 Landscape Show, Stremmel Gallery, Reno, NV.

2014-1999 Maynard Dixon Country Annual Exhibition.

Maynard Dixon Estate, Mt. Carmel, UT.

2013 Patron’s Choice Award.

2008 Patron’s Choice Award

2005 Patron’s Choice Award.

2014-2002 California Art Club’s Annual Gold Medal Exhibition.

Pasadena Museum of Art, Autry Museum, CA.

2012 Gold Medal Award, IrvineMuseum Award.

2011 Southwest Art Award of Excellence.

2010 Gold Medal Award-"Edgar Payne Award for Best Landscape."

2014-2007 Annual One Man Show, Galerie Gabrie, Pasadena, CA.

2012   Artists for a new Century- Bennington Center for the Arts, VT.

2009-2002  American Art in Miniature, Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa OK.

2008  Heritage Art Exhibition,First Place Award,

presented by Joan Irvine Smith and the Irvine Museum,

Irvine and San Juan Capistrano, CA.

2008-2005 Crystal Cove Exhibition, Laguna Beach, CA.

            Best of Show/Best Painting of the Cove Award 2005 and 2007.

2007-2004  TelluridePlein Air,Telluride, CO.

                    Best of Show/Artist’s Choice Award 2006.

2006-2003  LagunaPlein Air Painters Invitational,Laguna Beach, CA.

2003 Canyon De Chelly Show,Trailside Galleries, Scottsdale, AZ.

2003  C.M.RussellMuseum Auction of Western Art,

                    C.M Russell Museum, Great Falls, MT.

2004-2003  Settlers West American Miniatures Show,

                    Settlers West, Tucson, AZ.

2003-2002 San Luis Obispo Plein Air Event, San Luis Obispo, CA.

2002Gold Medal Award.

2002  A California Year- One Man Exhibit.

The Vault Gallery, Sonora, CA.

2002  Desert Plein Air Exhibit.

La Quinta, CA. Poster Artist Award for 2003 Event.

2001-1999 Oil Painter of America National Exhibit

                    Various Locations.1999 Award of Excellence.

2001  Best and the Brightest Exhibit

Scottsdale Artists School, Scottsdale, AZ.

2000-1998 The Artist’s Magazine Annual Art Competition.

Finalist, Portrait Category  and Still Life Category.

1999  Arts for the Parks Top 100 Exhibit.

Jackson, WY.

1999  American Artist’s Professional League 71st National Exhibition.

Salmagundi Club, New York City. Ridgewood Art Institute Award.

1998  Salmagundi Club 21st Annual Exhibition.

Salmagundi Club, New York City. American Artists Professional League Award.

1996  American Contemporaries.

Wally Findlay Galleries, Chicago, IL.


1994  One Man Show- Recent Paintings.

Bingham Gallery, San Jose, CA.


1992  One Man Show- Paintings of Madrid.

Galleria Concha Sedeno, Madrid, Spain.


1989   Art Students League Concourse Exhibition.

New York City, Merit Award.




          Irvine Museum, Irvine, CA.

          California Club, Los Angeles, CA.

          Tejon Ranch, Tejon, CA.