Commission – Arkansas Baptist Home for Children, Monticello

Monticello, Arkansas, my hometown, has two children’s’ homes.  The Presbyterian Home is on the southwest part of town and as a child, I passed it many times headed to Green Hill to visit my Mom’s parents.  The Baptist Home is on the north edge of Monticello.  I knew many kids from both and saw them daily at school or athletic practices. About two years ago, Jerry Morrow, who grew up at the Baptist Home, called and asked if I could do a painting of it, showing all of the main buildings that people would remember from the 1950’s to the ’70’s or so.  I said I thought I could manage it if he had enough photos that would allow me to piece all the buildings together.  The boys’ and girls’ dormitories had been torn down since then and they were the most recognizable buildings beside the main or administrative building. Unfortunately at the time he called, I was about to have shoulder surgery so I couldn’t really get started for about three months.  And even then my right arm was not very strong.  Eventually I began drawing the Administrative building in the center and started working my way out on […]

Commission – Rice Farm Work Crew

A long time ago, a couple of guys from Stuttgart, Arkansas traveled south to Drew County looking for a prairie to grow rice.  They found just what they needed, bought some land and found water enough to start a farm.  They were the first rice farmers in Drew County.  This was the mid-1940s.  In the early 1980’s, Monticello native Richard Reinhart commissioned me to do a painting of him standing on the edge of his rice field watching a storm brewing off in the southeast.  Rice farmers have to watch storms because they can drop too much water on the fields and damage the system of levees, creating a serious problem.  I was only too happy to do that for him mainly because it was such a good idea for a painting of life in my home area.  I was really proud of that painting. Richard and his wife, Eddye Ann, have purchased my work occasionally and at the end of one recent commission they  showed me an amazing photograph of a work crew on Richard’s father’s rice farm.  There were 10 workers standing in a line.  One of the two older men was holding Richard when he was a […]