Tuesday, March 15, 2005


This is a detail of a painting I did for the picture book about Francis Marion. It's still very much unfinished. I have yet to add smoke and other elements to it. It depicts Marion directing the last cannon volley from Ft. Sullivan at the British fleet in Charleston harbor during the first British attempt to take the city from the sea. I'm pretty pleased so far. This represents a day's work--I hope to have it finished by the end of the day tomorrow. I really want this book to be a slam dunk--pictures, words everything... Y'all let me know what you all think.

Visually, I am really channelling the spirits of N. C. Wyeth and Fredrick Remington--two of my most favorite historical illustrators. The drama that both artists bring to every scene they paint--the way that they are able to tell a whole story in the space of a single canvas. It's just amazing. I consider the turn of the century up to about the 1950's to be the golden age of illustration. Remington, Wyeth, Pyle, A.B. Frost... These wonderful illustrators were not just painters, they were storytellers as well. They were also, some of them, flamboyant adventurers and travelers.
While I was working on CHASING THE SWAMP FOX, I had the opportunity to spend some time with some reenactors, riding horses and stuff (I'm the portly gent in modern dress in the foreground). It was amazing fun. I have few material needs in my life--I don't need a lot of stuff. However, if I were ever to have the means I would definitely get myself a horse or even a couple of horses--maybe move out to the country... I don't know... Maybe I'm too citified.

Anyway, I'll be posting some images here from time to time and I want to welcome all of you to toss yer two cents in with any constructive comments you have about the pictures... Thanks y'all!


josie said...

So, were the reenactors hard-core period reenactors? Or were they more like actors for hire? Did they invite you to drop by another time to be part of the fun?

Jared Chapman said...

I've tried for days to post a comment and wasn't able to until now! I want to hear more about the research you did for the project, especially the ride with the reenactors. Wonderful work again.

Carol "Marion" Brandt said...

I am a descendant of the "Swamp Fox" - Frances Marion. I thought that he only fought on England soil???

Gretchen Huggins said...

I just taught a lesson,using the book and the Chasing the Swamp Fox film,to an 11th grade class at Marion High School in Marion,SC. The students LOVED the film and one even said that he now knows all the stories he grew up hearing weren't make believe! I was shocked to see how little these students knew about the Swamp Fox as they are living in the area where he was during the war. Thank you for this material that can help give these students pride in themselves and their towns history!