John Carroll Doyle, Artist

Charleston Artist - John Carroll Doyle

John Carroll Doyle was born in Charleston, SC on December 22, 1942, and left this earth on November 12, 2014. He is internationally known for his energetic, light filled paintings of subjects as diverse as blues musicians, blue marlins and blue hydrangeas.  The artist got his start with his distinctive sportfishing paintings which have graced the covers of many popular sportfishing magazines in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.  He continued to make a name for himself throughout the 1980’s and 1990's with his now famous and large scale commissioned paintings that can be seen on the walls of countless downtown Charleston restaurants and hotels, as well as clubs and restaurants as far afield as Chicago, Illinois and Alexandria, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and California.

With a career that spanned over four decades, John became a seasoned American Impressionist whose muse was always Charleston (which he called "his Italy") and the surrounding lowcountry.  From wildlife to still life, John Doyle painted with a passion and understanding that makes it hard to believe he was self taught.

Doyle claimed as his "teachers" the wooden boats at the Charleston Yacht Basin, lavender shadows on Charleston stucco, and the coastal sunlight that floods this city year-round. In 1997 the artist completed an autobiography entitled John Carroll Doyle: Portrait of a Charleston Artist. Lavishly illustrated with color reproductions of the artist's work and vintage black and white photographs of Charleston from the 1940’s and 50’s, the book tells not only the story of Doyle's development as an artist, but also the transformation of Charleston from a sleepy town to a bustling tourist destination. 

Doyle maintained his magical painting studio on King Street for over 25 years. In 1997 he opened his famous gallery at 54 Broad Street, where he stayed and received much deserve success for over 10 years. He also produced two elegant black and white photography books in 2002 and 2006, both of which were dedicated to femininity and to celebrate the beauty of women. In 2008, the John Carroll Doyle Art Gallery moved to 125 Church Street, which was formerly the Margaret Petterson Gallery.  Margaret Petterson, a fellow native Charleston artist, has retired from gallery ownership but is still producing her beautiful paintings and monotypes which are featured exclusively at the new John Doyle Gallery at 125 Church Street. It was John's wish for the gallery to continue in his name, and we hope to stay on Church Street for a very long time to come! As The Light was John's guardian angel, may his Light continue to shine on in all of us through the beauty of his unique and prolific work.