Chuck Cornell evolves from engineer to artist
William A. West
JEFFERSON_A soft-spoken, mild-mannered man, the General Electric engineer became semi-retired when GE closed their plant in Jefferson. Chuck Cornell, of Jefferson, worked in Cleveland and then Meadville, Pa. before he fully retired at the age of 80.
“I started painting when I was thinking about retiring,” Cornell said. “I realized I didn’t have a hobby or anything to keep me busy. I always thought I could paint, somehow.”
One of the first classes Cornell took a watercolors class at the Ashtabula Arts Center more than 20 years ago. The 90-year-old whippersnapper also has dabbled with acrylic and oils during his art career, but always comes back to watercolors.
“It’s not my nature to be careful,” Cornell said. “Watercolors clean up much easier.”
Cornell became a member of Lakeshore Artists soon after he started painting and attending classes at the AAC.
“I was taking a workshop at the Ashtabula Arts Center and a couple of the ladies that were in Lakeshore Artists approached me about joining,” Cornell said. “I’ve really gotten a lot out of that. What amazes me is all the people, the talented people that are around. The club gives you a chance to associate with other artists. So really, mainly, I’m self-taught with the help of a lot of other people.”
The benefits of joining Lakeshore Artists is a two-way street for members because it gives them the opportunity to be associated with artist Chuck Cornell.