MARY, Oil on Linen, 24 x 36, Prints available see below
Chapter 3: Mary
My studio was a pre-civil war log cabin that I had found and restored; it set well back in the woods of what was then rural Cobb County. Toward evening, about the time I wash my brushes, my friends and neighbors would begin to drift by. Six or eight of us would visit for a little while before heading off towards home and supper. It was a daily ritual we all enjoyed. It was the late summer of 1971 and I was working on a painting called Mary.
My wife and I had delivered a group of paintings to a gallery in Columbia, South Carolina. A gentleman who worked at the gallery told me that he had just bought a piece of land near Clinton, South Carolina, and he was interested in a painting of the old house that was on the property. We found the house on country road and turned into the rutted red clay driveway. The big brown house stood in the middle of a classic Southern sand yard. It was tall and square, and the rusty tin roof rose in equal triangles to a point at the top. It had a porch across the front under a lean-to roof. It had never been painted. It stood on tall supports of stacked rocks, and you could see right under the house. The whole house was weathered to a uniform deep tobacco brown. The house reeked of rural poverty. It was possibly the ugliest house I have ever seen...