I have always loved the stories in the Old Testament and when I began painting, I did several, including "Absolum" and "Jonah." I did a series that used this little bearded, naked man which I always identified as my alter ego. Even though he is protected by God, he is a bit anxious and he has one eye open, watching that fellow on his left who has been purring like a truck with a gutted muffler.
This print is the same as the one that Lee bought and is available for $200 at Livingston's Studio.
The first time that I heard the legend of the Fall of Sky Woman, I was in upstate New York at a Native American Conference on the Seneca Reservation some fifty years ago. In later years, I heard fragments of the same story in Cherokee and Choctaw folklore, and came to believe that this story was once a part of the legends of all Southeastern tribes. The legend tells how an ancient god of the heavens grew lonely and sought the companionship of a young woman who became pregnant when he blew in her ear. He brought her home to live with him, but in time, he grew tired of his young wife's constant chatter. She was very curious and ask the old god many questions. One day, he returned home to find that his young wife had dug up the Tree of Light in order to lean where its blue glow originated. As a result, there was a huge hole in the floor of Heaven and the young wife was down peering through the hole. There was nothing below but a great swamp and flocks of Heavenly Birds that flew back and forth. Seeing an opportunity to be rid of his young wife, the old god kicked her through the hole. As she fell, she dragged many heavenly plants through the hole with her. There were potatoes, beans, corn and strawberries. When the Heavenly Birds saw the falling woman, they wove their wings together into a great blanket and caught her. Then, the birds flew down to the swamp and asked an old turtle to put his back above the water so they could deposit the young woman. The turtle agreed and his back became the first Earth on which the woman lived with her heavenly vegetables. That is not the whole story, of course. Falling Woman gave birth to twins and then another story begins....a tale that is much like Cain and Able.
I believe I have painted The Fall of Sky Woman three times and each painting was sold for $800. Each was purchased by a members of my elderhostel class at Junaluska. Prints are available for $200 and can be purchased at Livingston's Studio in Sylva.
This is my most popular painting. It is based on an actual event. When I was a child, there was a "fire and damnation" church near my grandparents' home, and we could hear the preacher at night when he raved and ranted about judgment day. I would sometimes go and stand outside the church at night where I could see the preacher and I was impressed. I wanted to do that...scare the hell out of folks, so I would sometimes get a lantern and the family Bible and go to the chicken house at night and preach to the chickens. They were's attentive and sometimes got hysterical when I talked about Chicken Hell. It was good training for being a storyteller.
A print of this painting is available now for $200 and may be obtained by contacting Livingston Studio's in Sylva.
This painting is entitled, "Two Foxes Dancing on a Moonlit Road in Georgia." I taught school in north Georgia for five years and I remember the hot nights filled with sheet lightning when we used to drive to the lake outside of Cartersville. I loved those nights and associate these two strange creatures with the heat, the lightning and sexy Georgia nights. The original belongs to Daniel Gore, a musician friend of mine who recorded an album dedicated to Horace Kephart entitled "Ways That Are Dark." Daniel paid $500 for the original painting. Prints are available for $200 each at Livingston's Studio in Sylva.