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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Sometimes a Man's Just Gotta Paint

On our last visit home, back in January, we took Mary over to Ocean Springs, MS to see the Walter Anderson Museum of Art. It was still closed due to hurricane damage, but it's since reopened and the next time you find yourself in coastal Mississippi, you should definitely make time to check it out.

Anderson, born in 1903, was the Bob Pollard of painters (at least in terms of being extremely prolific, prone to using whatever was at hand to make art, and maybe being just a little bit off), producing thousands of paintings and drawings, many of which were discovered after his death.*

Anderson was also known for taking off fairly regularly to satisfy his muse, which meant rowing about 12 miles out to Horn Island with art supplies and *maybe* a tent, staying for days if not weeks, and painting everything he saw.

His watercolors and prints are amazing - we have a print and it's one of our favorite pieces of art, next to a pop-style portrait of Mary and a series of prints by another friend of ours. But my favorite pieces of his would be his murals.

Anderson moved out of the house and into a cottage later in life, and then commenced to paint murals on the walls of the cottage, in between trips out to the island. He painted the walls. He painted the doors. There are murals covering every inch of the place. It's amazing.

You can see some of his work online here (scroll down and click on "Walls of Light" for the murals), and you can also check out this new book of his murals.
* The NY Times likened him to a "Gulf Coast O'Keeffe," but I like mine better. Georgia O'Keeffe never made a record like Alien Lanes or Bee Thousand, I'm just sayin.

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