I grew up in southern Arkansas. My Mom’s parents lived about five miles west of Monticello. We would sometimes go swimming in the Saline river. My brother and I would roam the creek bottoms behind my grand parent’s house. We climbed all over the two barns. I searched the gardens and cowpaths for arrowheads.
My father coached the basketball teams and whenever we went to away games it would be to all the small towns around us…Hamburg, Lake Village, Crossett. I was always someone who looked while in a vehicle…car or bus. I can’t claim to have spent any time sketching and I regret that I did not take photographs until much later. But I enjoyed looking at the scenery…old stores, schools, downtowns and churches.
In a way that’s what I’m doing when I paint. I’m trying to look back into my memory and pull out some scenery. I think I’m looking for echoes of past times. Old churches or cotton gins do the same thing for me; they remind me of things I saw as I was growing up. Generally what I “remember” are modest structures and glances across a field. I remember seeing old home places or, more likely, where old home places used to be. So I’m trying to resurrect some of the “old places”. I don’t want to live in them…I just want to remember them accurately and respectfully.
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