Glen Chesnut

You Can't Keep A Good Man Down

Glen entered art exhibitions, and his pieces were overwhelmingly accepted. A book of his art will be published in 2021. What a work ethic!

Glen created his art and writing at lightning speed. Looking at his art and reading what he wrote, Glen was his own best commentator.

Glen was born in Amarillo, Texas, on March 4, 1930. He was the youngest of six children: four boys and two girls. His father, Sam, was a ranch hand, and his mother, Ulta, a housewife and helpmate. When Glen was born, West Texans were going through trying times brought on by the devastation of the dust bowl. 

The year was 1935, and five-year-old Glen was playing outside. He looked toward the west and saw a huge black cloud coming toward him. He rushed into the house and loudly exclaimed, “Momma, look what’s coming!” Ulta looked out the window and said excitedly, “Oh my God!” She knew immediately since Amarillo had experienced dust clouds before. After that episode, it was time to leave Texas.

They ended up in Marysville, California. Glen loved it there. As a child, he spent most of his time outdoors with the family dog, Buster. Glen not only explored all of the surroundings but also developed a lifelong love of reading. It wasn’t a casual love either. Glen wouldn’t hesitate to cut school to read and re-read his favorite books by Rudyard Kipling: The Jungle Book, Kim, and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.

As a young man, Glen’s creative life took a double trajectory as an artist and writer.

When I met Glen in 1970, he was a merchant seaman shipping out half of the year, having long exciting voyages to the four corners of the earth. During the other half of the year, he was an artist. His one-room studio was on Julian Avenue in San Francisco’s Mission District. I lived in an adjacent apartment, and our kitchen windows faced one another. 

I noticed Glen used the impasto technique in his paintings, where he would lay paint on a surface with a palette knife. His works went right to the essence of things.

Glen was tall, lean, sandy-haired, and handsome. His eyes were blue or green, depending on the light.

He took to wearing levis, cowboy boots, a cinnamon-colored corduroy jacket, and a red and blue pinstripe shirt. I couldn’t resist the attraction.


After we married in 1972, he continued shipping out for ten more years. When he was home, he kept painting in oil, acrylic, and multimedia and even tried his hand at sculpting.

The artworks in his first art show in 1981 showed Glen’s exploration of the west and the heroes of myth. After all, he quit high school for a year to work as a cowboy in Tehachapi, California.

In the forty-five years I was married to Glen, I observed his writings and art formed a unified whole. Glen continued writing poetry and creating small-format artworks every day until his death on July 6, 2017.

The Written Works of Glen Chesnut

A collection of flash fiction, poetry and short stories that will hit you immediately with outrageous humor, poignancy and meaning. Yes, “Written Works of Glen Chesnut" is a posthumous collection. but the writer comes alive on every page.​