Fishin On The Hootch
This painting is part of my “Atlanta” series that I was inspired to do shortly after relocating to Georgia from Southern California. I was fascinated by the many trees and woods with flowing water in the area. It is something quite different from the semi desert living in southern California. The South represents a lot of heritage for my family and getting to know it is a blessing. I consider this painting to be one of my masterpieces.
The process for this painting has an interesting story. I wanted to do a landscape (which I don’t normally do) and capture the beauty of this old river with the lush greenery. So I challenged myself to explore sketches of this scene. But there was still something missing. So the sketch sat for about a year. One afternoon while delivering art to a site in downtown Atlanta, I spotted a homeless man sitting on a stoop and snapped his picture. He looked so lonely and beaten down that I wanted to put his image into a painting. It was then that I had the inspiration to place him with a young male as if they were fishing on the Chattahoochee River together. The rest of the painting came together!
This scene on the Chattahoochee River depicts an elder sharing wisdom and giving life lessons to a younger generation while instilling patience and a sense of respect for nature that is often lacking in city life. The pace has slowed and the lessons are deep.
This painting was chosen to hang at Hampton University Museum in 2002 during their National Juried Exhibition of African American Art “New Power Generation”. I was so thrilled to see my painting hanging in the very same building that also featured great works by many famous African American artists including Henry O. Tanner. I have always loved and admired his command of landscapes. It was a very moving moment for me.