Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Gift from December

The days keep being bright and cheerful which is a gift in December; the weatherman tells us not to get used to it. Two big storms are coming in next couple of weeks, one on Christmas Eve. I hate to hear that when it will wreck some families’ holiday plans.

One of the best parts of the holidays is the expectation of Christmas coming and getting out among the mood and decorations of the season. Due to illness, I missed a great many stops I had planned for yesterday. By afternoon I was able to get out and do one I really wanted to attend! DH drove, Biscuit rode along, and we all took a drive down Highway 59 in the warm sunshine to see Doug Hall’s new log cabin studio. The artist was holding open house.

                                                                      Doug Hall

Doug lives near the Huckleberry Ridge Forrest and allows a muzzleloader’s shooting range every Sunday on his new cabin’s property. He and friends built the cabin themselves; they took the logs from his mother’s trees. It is darling and Doug uses it as a small gallery for his art work
Doug paints mostly Shawnee Indians or Woodland people. These are not your full feather head-dressed Natives of the old westerns. These men will scare the bejebbers out of you. Their heads are plucked clean around a stiff and prickly roach. They paint their faces red and black with frightening masks and designs. They are usually bare legged and hunkered in trees, watching. My photos cannot capture the intensity of the paintings largely due to the reflections. I did not feel well enough to fight the issue, but I snapped what I could.

                                                           Model drives a COKE truck

I asked Doug why he paints the Shawnee. He doesn’t really know. He is crazy over Indian lore and just found researching the Woodland Indians so fascinating. The red color is abundant in his painting, as is the use of filtered light in the tree leaves. He paints from models, men who dress and portray the Shawnee. He says they look ferocious to him even. One of the models drives a COKE truck for his day job!

                                                                  Great red boots!

Outside guests were treated to free hamburgers, hot dogs, and chili cooked on a campfire. The wood smoke on the beautiful day smelled marvelous. The Cookie, as cooks on cattle drives used to be called, is actually a husband and wife team. The undercarriage of the cook wagon is original but the man built the wagon box new. It was an original Springfield wagon, built in Springfield, Missouri in its day. The owner made sure he trimmed the wagon with the dash of white stripes which was a pattern of the original wagon maker.


                                                      "What cha lookin at, Mister?"

We weren’t there long, but I soaked up everything I possibly could like I was a dry sponge! Someday when I am better and maybe on a cold day, I want to go down again and sit around that potbellied stove and soak up those beautiful paintings. Oh, but I will be watchful for any sudden movements out of those Woodland faces!!!


Rebecca said...

Glad you were feeling well enough to take advantage of this most unusual opportunity. Fascinating! (My recent outings appear "tame" when compared to yours!)

Elephant's Child said...

I am glad that your health improved enough for you to have this treat - and hope you get your wish to go back and absorb the atmosphere.

Sioux said...

Claudia--Those paintings look more like photographs. He is quite a gifted artist.

Susan said...

Your posts are always so interesting and varied! Thanks so much, Bookie, for stopping by my blog and commenting, too. Love to see you've stopped by. Susan p.s. Sorry to hear you were under the weather.

Linda O'Connell said...

Wow! This was an interesting post. The photos are incredible. How do you find these interesting places?