Charles Thomas Cox developed a passionate interest in art while in high school in Chattanooga, Tennessee. During this time he was very active in the school's art club and won a number of local and regional art awards.
Determining on a career in art, he pursued his education at David Lipscomb, Ringling School of Art, Watkins Institute, and U. T. Nashville Extension, acquiring a B. A. in art from Lipscomb. He taught painting at Lipscomb and had among his students, Dawn Whitelaw, a well known painter and portraitist. Also during this time he had two one man shows at the Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee, which received high praise from local critic, Clara Hieronymous, and was well-received by the public.
Cox then embarked on a long career as an llustrator, working for ad agencies and publishing houses in Nashville, Minneapolis, and St. Louis, and winning awards given by judges such as Bernie Fuchs and Bob Peak. Illustrations he did during these years are in the
permanent collection of The Baptist Board.
Fifteen years ago Cox retired from illustrating in order to paint fulltime, and has since sold virtually everything he has painted.
Although he has not emphasized entering contests he has won a Best of Show in the 2008 Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional, an "Award of Excellence" in the 2012 OPA Eastern Regional, First in Oil and a Best of Show at the Central South Show, and a First in Oil at The Tennessee Art League, along with awards at the Motorola Regional and Tennessee State Fair. He was also accepted into the 2009 Oil Painters of America National and Eastern Regional, the 2011 OPA National and Eastern Regionals, the 2012 Eastern Regional, was awarded a Finalist prize in the May 2010 Fineartviews Painting Competition, and in 2013 won a "Best of Show" at the Columbia State College Show. A painting is currently at the 2013 OPA Eastern Regional in Annapolis, MD. He has a juried painting traveling with the "2010 Paint the Parks Contest," and has won a 3rd place in the January 2011 Boldbrush competition
He counts among colleagues and friends acclaimed portraitist and painter Michael Shane Neal, and New York illustrator and painter Neal McPheeters.
His favorite artists are John Singer Sargent, Velasquez, Degas, and Corot, among others, and his painting style is painterly-realistic, with an emphasis on accurate drawing and tones, entertaining brushwork, good surface quality, enjoyable details, careful choice of subject, and rich color.
With his wife, Joyce, he travels in Europe, especially in France and Italy, searching for subjects. His paintings have been in collections at Vanderbilt University, David Lipscomb University, Cheekwood, and several bank headquarters, as well as in private and corporate collections around the country. His youngest son, Bryan, is an animation artist for Blue Sky Animation Studios, producers of such successful animated films as "Rio" and "Ice Age."
Cox has appeared in the December 2008 issue of "American Art Collector," was featured in the January 2011 issue of "Nashville Arts Magazine," and in the April 2013 "American Art Collector." In 2012, he was made a Signature Member of Oil Painter's of America in recognition of his achievements in the field of painting. Also, in 2013 he was an online juror for the OPA Western Regional and wrote a blog for OPA.