Charles Woodbury attended Cobbett School (1875-77) and MIT (1882-86), graduating with a degree in engineering. He was largely self-taught in the arts with an informal watercolor class taught by Ross Turner. He produced his first etching in 1882 and worked as an illustrator for Century and Harper's during his early career. Woodbury became a marine painter and a highly influential teacher. He had many students, mostly women, who all went to Ogunquit Maine to attend Woodbury's summer classes from 1898-1934. Many of his own painting were inspired by the coastline near his summer studio like "The North Atlantic". Woodbury also taught from his Boston studio and at Wellesley College (1899-1906, 1913-14). His true concern in painting was conveying a true sense of movement and he told his students to "paint verbs, not nouns." Woodbury traveled quite extensively throughout Europe and visited the Caribbean on 18 different occasions from 1901-1939. In 1907 he was elected a full member of the National Academy of Design. Woodbury was also awarded the gold medal in 1915 at the Panama-Pacific Exposition.