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Sunflower folding chair in a field of clover

April 20, 2012

Carole McReynolds Davis
Contributing Columnist

I am dedicating today’s painting to Joshua Thomas Coker. The second painting will be dedicated to Jonathan Robert Coker. They are fine young men who are fraternal twins. They are the sons of Charlotte Ann Edwards Coker and Toxie Coker. They were born in Huntsville, Ala. 28 years ago.
Charlotte Ann and I grew up together on Louisville Street in Starkville.

I was a baby living at Mississippi State University on Morgan Street in a big white two story clapboard faculty house until I was in 3rd grade, and we moved up town to Granny’s big home. The very first visitors to welcome us were, Charlotte Ann and her mama, Charlene Thomas Edwards. Charlene and Mama were best friends, and Charlotte Ann and I were best friends, too.

When Josh and Jon graduated from Starkville High School we gave them a graduation party. They said, “You, Carole, are our godmother.” I dearly love these brothers. Since Josh was born first, I am sharing “Sunflower Folding Chair In A Field Of Clover,” dedicating it to him first. You will see and read about the second chair next week.

I spotted the most beautiful open field of red clover merely steps away from our house across the busy Highway 12 passing the beautiful antebellum Frank Jackson home. The vacant open clover field was and still is the open field across from Starkville High School. It was owned by Jackson.

This open field called out to me to paint it, so I decided to pack up my car with my art supplies, and I headed down the road. I wondered if years ago before and during the Civil War if this same open field was blooming in April then, or was it planted in rows of cotton?

I pulled into a visitor’s parking spot across from Starkville High, unloaded my art supplies, and looked at the lovely clover blowing in the breeze. I nodded at the clover, and said, “Here I am to spend the day.” Suddenly I felt inspired to capture on my canvas this gorgeous field to keep forever within the strokes of my pencil marks and brushes filled with paint of this beautiful landscape and still life that I was just about to create.

I looked up at a perfect blue sky above without a cloud. It was April 29. Two beautiful April days to be outside enjoying a wide open field of red clover where life would be lush. I was tempted, and I fell in love with the scene.

This landscape needed some personality. It needed to pop out, and I realized she needed a chair. What kind of chair? A comfortable one. I needed two separate chairs because I was going to be painting in this same spot for today and tomorrow. They needed to be two relaxing chairs so that we could drink in the beauty around us as these chairs would perch themselves in the middle of the open field of clover.

My chairs that I chose would be folding chairs, and they were perfect garden chairs. I carefully unfolded my chair and placed it in the field. I had also brought along a wicker basket filled with colorful flowers from my garden and tied a lime green bow on the end of the handle of this basket. This was a relaxing chair which could also be a reclining chair by pushing the arms back, and you could take an afternoon nap and drink in the sunshine brightly shining above us as it kissed your cheeks.

Look at this snazzy chair. It is covered with six huge Sunflowers and the two pieces of sunflowers. There is a touch of purple mixed into the design of the chair to cool down the yellows of the flowers. The chair is held together by a white aluminum frame with two arm rests.

Look closely at the sea of red clover. Pick out the details among the millions of blossoms. How vibrant the red mixed with maroon colors. Look at the variety of the colors and shades of greens. This hooker’s green mixed with dark blue made almost black to make your eyes go to the wicker basket and this chair. The field seemed to live for miles.

The bright yellow to the far right bottom of my canvas draws you directly into the painting. This red clover field that I used twice as my landscape for two still life subjects of two different chairs to enhance such a colorful simple field of clover offered me the opportunity see these two paintings as a story of twin brothers, and they, like these chairs, are different individuals yet the same landscape.

Carole McReynolds Davis is a local artist. Email her at fc64@ms.metrocast.net.

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