We always want to know something about the artist when we buy a painting, or even when we just admire it. Do we perhaps attach to the artist an air of mysticism, of romance, of being in touch with something transcendental? After all, to paint is to be inspired, even if the painting is plebeian or sordid, like a cow floating in urine or something. We must believe art is inspired, else why the value placed on it? I imagine someone paying millions of dollars for a Van Gogh hoping that, by owning it, they become something like the artist, like someone hearing the beat of a different drum, someone in tune with a magic that will lift them out of the ordinary.
Sounds good to me! I buy art for those reasons myself.
Take comfort that, if you purchase some of my work, you are buying something by someone a bit weird. I started out okay, a southern belle type who wore evening gowns and had her hair styled and went to an Episcopal boarding school. I studied painting at the University of Alabama but then moved to other subjects because it wasn’t very challenging and I felt like I knew as much as the teachers, some of whom threw paint at the canvas or splashed buckets of turpentine on finished work. Maybe all twenty year olds feel that way. I also studied partying and breaking rules, so that makes me a real artist. When I decided to paint as a profession, I turned to portraying elemental, natural subjects,- the roots of trees, the texture of stones, the romance of old houses – using paint to simply show my love of color itself – and intricacy: the veins in leaves, the layers of a bulb, the patterns on shells the imaginative decorations on Chinese porcelain, the beauty of crumbling bricks. Eventually my southern self and my weird self got together and settled on painting southern-looking subjects – I think of myself as throwing everything but the kitchen sink into a painting.
I grow flowers and explore hedges and shrubs and fields and shores. I drive way out in the country and catalogue the wasting away of the Old South as it takes its last breath among the slumping roofs and crumbling chimneys still visible down worn and winding clay roads. I also buy more than my share of amaryllis bulbs. And orchids.
I have co-written a book of poems called The Moonpeelers which is still in print after decades. It is a good book and you can find it online. I also illustrated three books written by Adele Colvin which you can google – about the role donkeys played in the Bible. I am working on umpteen books for children. I paint my heart out – and don’t produce a lot because I guess my work is painstaking. I will post photos of it so you can see and admire 😇 .
I will also write about what I am reading and what I think about it, hoping to kick off a conversation. You can friend me on Facebook. Peyton Hamilton Carmichael. There is so much to say.
I have three children and four grandchildren and some wonderful friends. I have a passion for Israel and the Dead Sea Scrolls and for Shakespeare and Tolstoy. My favorite poet is W.B. Yeats, followed by Emily Dickinson, followed by Gerard Manley Hopkins. I hate politics. I am disappointed in society in general and in the shallowness of the public.
I love it that we can always start over. Always. We can always go back to “Go”. That’s where I am now.