Charles has had a long and varied career, which started with art training at the Byam Shaw School in Notting Hill Gate (now attached to Central St Martin’s). Here he did a Foundation Year and later moved on to study Graphic Art at Camberwell, which suited him because he is an ‘upside down left hander’ and the technique involved in graphics this mattered less than spattering paintings.
He then went on to the Central School to study printmaking at postgraduate level under Norman Ackroyd, who was instrumental in later finding him part-time teaching work.
Charles was headhunted by Editions Alecto and “got to work with all sorts of heroes from my student days.” These heroes included Patrick Procktor, friend of David Hockney, whom he credits with having further taught him to “loosen up”. He recalls a memorable time in Venice, when he worked with Patrick who taught him watercolour painting.