If it is a hot still day some where on the delta, a scene that will always catch your eye is a vehicle (it’s almost always a pickup) roaring along a dusty road just slightly ahead of a cloud of dust. If it’s far enough away that you can’t hear it, the scene is all the more entrancing. The pickup seems like a rocket blasting off for a space station when in reality it’s just heading for the nearest store. I have that overall idea in my head a lot of the time. It is an iconic scene for the delta…any delta with crops in varying stages of growth. It could be a pickup bumping along a turn row or blasting down a dirt road on the other side of a field. If the weather is dry the dust will be deep and easily thrown up into the hot, still air. Some of these fields will have a family plot tucked away by a paved highway. Maybe there will be a couple of trees. If the tiny cemetery is really old the trees may be just stumps…or gone altogether. So I put these two ideas together and liked the way […]
Note: This is the first in a series of posts from Daniel on the topic of “Why I paint the Arkansas Landscape.” In this first post, he writes about the influence of the Mississippi River on his work. I came back to southeastern Arkansas in 1981 and soon got settled in Dermott. After getting organized at the high school there, I was soon drawing what I saw around me which was the Delta. The Mississippi Delta, that is. I could feel that river for the first time in my life. And that’s kind of odd since Monticello, my hometown, was only 30 miles further west. But Monticello was in the hills and Dermott had been flooded in the ’27 Flood. In the 80’s, I remember watching thunderheads boiling up over the river…just a few miles east.