Red, White, and Carolina Blue
Giclee Print on Canvas
Edition of 300 S/N
Image: 38″ x 14″
One of the favorite pieces in our modest folk art collection is a great old barber pole. It is almost 8 feet high and in remarkably good condition considering that it is nearly 150 years old. A friend found it in Kansas and had it in his collection for many years and I truly coveted it for at least 20 years, until we finally worked out a trade, and now it stands in the corner of our dining room. I love to look at it and think about how Jesse James or John Wesley Hardin may have had a haircut at the shop where this pole stood. The paint is old and flaking, but still quite bold, and there is some dry rot at the base, but it is a museum-quality piece of folk art, and I knew when I acquired it that I would use it in a painting at some point.
As I often do with decoys, weathervanes and other subjects, I used a lot of artistic license and changed the shape a bit and juiced up the color. (My good friend and fellow artist (a GREAT artist), Ward Nichols once sent me a tongue-in-cheek “certificate” proclaiming that I now had complete “Artistic License,” and henceforth I can point to it as needed!).
Our backyard, which is right on the marsh, is usually home to several families of Carolina Bluebirds, which is where I got the idea to use one in this painting. The barber pole by itself would have made a nice painting, but the Bluebird was a nice addition, and it gave me a great title, despite the fact that I graduated from Florida State, it seems now like it was during the time that this barber pole was in use.