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Showing posts from July, 2020

WATERCOLORS

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"Horse Still Roam"
The other day, I found myself searching through my art studio for an old pan of watercolor paints. Maybe I longed for the gentle nature of them. Especially in these difficult times. The muted colors and lack of harsh lines. How with a brush you could blend them together on cold press paper, enjoying them becoming one. There is a special art in them, born out of their imperfection.
There’s something pure and simple about working with watercolors. Often you can use just one brush that is easily cleaned with water between colors. A drop of paint on the tip can be spread in any direction toward the boundary of your subject.
Watercolors are the oldest form of painting. Cave dwellers used ochre and charcoal mixed with water to make images on their walls. They too tried to interpret the world they lived in. Artists from Paul Cezanne to O”Keefe found their initial expressions and inspiration using watercolors.
Life seems so unbounded right now. You hope to make sense …

A ROAD NAMED BRICKYARD

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The South is crisscrossed with small roads. Much more so than in the West where I am from. Each one beckons you. Eventually, curiosity and the explorer in you turns your car onto them. Some are beautiful like Clarence Promise Road, Whiskey Run and the Road to Tradesville. 
You are drawn to others just by their unique name. Such is the short Brickyard Road. This unassuming road runs to the backdoor of Fort Mill SC. When you first drive it, there is nothing that shouts out at you in the way of wonderment. There are a few things that catch your eye, a lovely forest stretch, an old abandoned dirt side road, a hint at a structure here and there.
There’s enough to entice your curiosity. So back home I did some research. Brickyard Road it turns out is full of Native American, early settler and industry lore. Long before the first settlers, this road bed and the remains of the original Nations Ford Road (which crosses it) were used by traders. The latter road leading to the best spot to cros…

DREAMLAND

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I’ve written about Chester, SC before. A picturesque town on a hill at the doorstep between the Piedmont and Low Country to the south. It’s a town frozen in time with colorful buildings dating back to the mid 1800’s. Then the town had great promise as a transportation, commerce and industrial center fueled by textile mills. The storefronts filled with merchants and shops.
Roland Hill, a wealthy business man from Greensboro NC, must have sensed the promise of the town when he built a Theater in 1913 to both show movies and be a focal point for local plays. Fittingly he named it Dreamland. He said it would stand for a 100 years and be a focal point for the community culture.
The theater changed hands and names several times, but still stands today. However, much like the rest of Chester is now unoccupied. Still the images of theater goers of long past remain painted on the sides of the building in the alley near where the actors used to enter the stage area. Some locals have said the plac…