A White Ribbon Tribute to Master Blacksmith Philip Simmons

Master Blacksmith/Artisan Mr. Philip Simmons' passing at age 97 has resulted in plans to honor his long and productive life in the SC Lowcountry. For many years Charleston has proudly recognized the talents of this native son who has spent a lifetime creating beautiful ironwork for local homes and gardens.
In his honor, the city is hanging white ribbons on all of Mr. Simmons public ironworks.

While Mr. Simmons's beautiful downtown gates and decorative public ironwork are widely known, he also produced many smaller, less recognized works such as the wrought iron handrails designed for "Afterglow", the Mt. Pleasant home of the Muschick family.

When asked if he would accept a modest project at the home, Mr. Simmons replied to Mrs. Rose Muschick that "no project is too small". "That's what I do" was his cheerful reply.
The resulting pairs of graceful wrought iron handrails have been beautiful additions to this home and garden for many years.

In his honor at his passing, the family has hung white ribbons on these two pair of smaller but greatly admired and appreciated wrought iron handrails designed and installed by Mr. Simmons and his apprentice.

He will live on in the memory of those who admire him and his distinctive artwork in iron.

"Farmland by Angel Oak" An Oil Painting of Vanishing Rural Fields

"Farmland by Angel Oak"
Oil on canvas panel
Dimensions: 11" x 14"

This is a painting of farmland directly across the winding dirt road from the ancient Angel Oak.
The future of this and other farmland on rural John's Island, SC is of great concern due to encroaching development.
Recent plans to build 630 housing units on 42 acres surrounding the Angel Oak have residents concerned about the long term impact of this development on the rural environment of Johns Island and the magnificent Angel Oak tree.

Here is my plein air painting (painted on location) created during a "paint out" at Angel Oak Park.

"Misty Morning at Angel Oak"

Oil on panel

The developers will be presenting their latest plans for the Angel Oak Village Development to the Charleston Commercial Corridor Design Review Board this Thursday (6/ 25/09) at 5:00 in the 3ed Floor meeting room at 75 Calhoun St. Chas, SC.
Yesterdays editorial in the Post and Courier titled "Stay Vigilant for Angel Oak"advises "those who are interested in the long term well-being of the Angel Oak to get a close look at what developer Robert DeMoura now has in mind for the tract and let the board hear their thoughts." At issue are the architectural design plans and the development's density. The development also has not yet been awarded necessary environmental permits.
It's not too late to have a voice in this critical issue that affects not only the health of the irreplaceable National treasure "Angel Oak" but also the quality of life on rural Johns Island.
To see more artwork and information about Angel Oak click these links:
"Plein Air Painters at Angel Oak", "Angel Oak-More Trees to Be Cut??", "New Drawing of Angel Oak", and "Land Surrounding Angel Oak to be... Development".

A Plein Air Charcoal Drawing of Hampton Plantation

This charcoal and mixed media drawing of Hampton Plantation was created in the shade of the magnificent Washington Oak on the grounds of the Hampton Plantation Historic Site.

In the drawing, the graceful curve of the live oak tree in the foreground leads the viewer's eye through overhanging branches swaying with Spanish moss to the portico of the mansion. The last rays of the afternoon sun cast a soft light on the white columns and front steps inviting the viewer to come and rest a while on the porch.

Hampton Plantation was given to the South Carolina State Park Service by SC Poet Laureate Archibald Rutledge and his family in 1971. The mansion was built in the 1740's with the addition of a beautiful Adam style portico (porch) modeled after Hampton House in England in 1791.

The Live Oak tree in my drawing is called "The Washington Oak" in honor of President George Washington. During his visit to Hampton Plantation in 1791, the President was asked if he thought the tree blocked the view from the newly built portico. Washington replied that he like the tree and it was saved.

For more paintings of Hampton Plantation click here.

Charleston Waterspout

Reports today (6.07.09) of a waterspout spotted over the water in Charleston reminded me of a similar sighting I had of another waterspout in Charleston.
I'm posting artwork I created from my impressions of the waterspout I sighted in Charleston Harbor several years ago. This etching (or "printed painting") is one in a group of artworks I made entitled "The Storm Series". In creating the etching "Waterspout", I used value changes and broad, diagonal strokes to express my impression of the wind and ominous cloud formations I experienced viewing the event.

Although waterspouts rarely last more than a few minutes, cause widespread damage, or make landfall, they are still an alarming natural event. The sight of a large, churning funnel cloud heading toward land is a unnerving and memorable sight - even for a "hurricane hardened" viewer like myself.

Variable wiped zinc plate etching on rives BFK paper
Image size: 27.5" x 25.5"
Framed size: 39" x 32"
Price: $450.00