Buried Secrets

M Charles


– Sold Out

Buried Secrets an original oil painting on canvas by M. Charles. The art measures 24″ x 36″  and the  frame is 30″  x  42″, frame included.


Donald Leary (aka M. Charles) was a self taught artist who worked under the name, M. Charles. He began to paint after retiring from his job as a school principal. He moved with his family to the Outer Banks of NC from Gloucester, VA in the early 1950’s.  Leary’s work captured the look and feel of the North Carolina barrier islands. He spent a lot of time outdoors sketching and painting in the early years. Later years found him mostly in his studio, painting from memory. His first painting was sold in 1954.

He was born in 1916 in Colon, Panama. His father was an army doctor.  He graduated from George Washington University with a BA in English in 1941 and a medical degree from William and Mary in 1955. He served in World War II in the US Army Corp of Engineers and was discharged as a captain in 1945. The artist chose his artistic name when as a joke; he donned a beret and pranced in front of his family. The story follows that one of his children said he looked like a French artist and therefore was dubbed Monsieur Charles, which was later shortened to M. Charles.

“M. Charles of Manteo: Painter of Sand and Sea” is an article that appeared in New East magazine, the July/August issue in 1975. A retrospective show for his art was held at the Roanoke Island Festival Park, November 2004.  One of his paintings is in the art collection of the Town of Nags Head, it can be seen at the town hall.

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