Sunday, December 11, 2011

wofford's painting

My Uncle Wofford Finlayson was an artist.  He earned his living making signs in Columbia, South Carolina.  I sure wish he were around today, I would love to learn from him.  He once told me that as a freelance artist, he took on every job that came his way.  Uncle Wofford would paint the front of theaters  for movies like Gone With The Wind.  He designed company logos, banners for grocery store windows and he'd even paint flag poles.  If it had to do with paint, he said he'd take on the job.  To be a commercial artist in those days meant you did anything and everything.

The above watercolor is of the old Saint David Episcopal Church. Wofford wasn't hired to do this job.  He created various paintings of his old Pee Dee River hometown,
Cheraw, South Carolina.  His paintings resurrect Cheraw from a century ago.   This particular painting once hung on the wall of our house on Scenic Hwy here in Gadsden, AL.  I am very familiar with it.  This is hanging on a wall at my sister's house in Rock Hill, SC.

I snapped a photo of it while visiting Don and Jennie last May.  It's a beautiful piece of work.  The paintings I've seen of Uncle Wofford's are not realistic - they were not meant to be.  His work is unrealistic like Thomas Kinkade's are not realistic.   Both Wofford and Thomas capture something in the heart.

Wofford's colors are ancient, and always ventured back to capture the old South.  Though the people seem a little on the cartoonish/caricature side in his paintings, the atmosphere is always alluring to me.  Wofford had the ability to resurrect the essence and atmosphere of a time lost.  This is a painting that I would love to step into - take a stroll down that old dirt road beneath the shade of the mossy trees.