The south is full of interesting people, many of whom have amazing stories to tell. Farmers, dairymen, mechanics, doctors, teachers, veterans, and the like are all over little towns here in the south. One such man is affectionately known as “Mr. Charlie” to Chris. Chris spent some time shadowing and talking with Mr. Charlie, listening to stories, and snapping pictures as he walked and worked around his property. It was an afternoon full of memories and moments that I am sure Chris remembers even today.
I like the way that Chris captured this moment. The greens of the pasture and the leaves of the tree, and the roundness of the apples remind me of time spent on some family property, walking fence lines and throwing crab apples at my brother. The fruit of the tree was always temperamental, almost never “just right”; most often, a taste would result in a puckered face and an exclamation of displeasure.
The folds of Mr. Charlie’s bag and clothing almost seem to mirror the folds and wrinkles in his arms and face. Both are weathered and worn by time, but still work well, and serve a great purpose. From this angle, Mr. Charlie could remind just about anyone around these parts of an uncle, a grandfather, a neighbor, or a friend.
People from Mr. Charlie’s generation are a different breed altogether. They knew more about living off of the land, living a frugal life, and enjoying moments for what they are than any generation after probably ever will. They came from a much simpler time. Chris did a great job of capturing the essence of what Mr. Charlie, and the people like him stand for; a little worn and somewhat broken down, but still full of life, energy, and wisdom that extend far beyond their time. The amount of life held within the years of men and women like Mr. Charlie is something for all of us to remember, revere, and admire.
What are the memories that this painting evokes for you?
Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE.