Rock and Shoals Flatrock

Athens-Clarke County, Georgia
February 2001
Oil on canvas
30 x 36 in. (76.2 x 91.4 cm)

Collection of Athens-Clarke County

Rock and Shoals flatrock is an unusual place in the otherwise forested Piedmont around Athens. As an artist interested in the southern wilderness before European settlement, I have found its outstanding aesthetic qualities and unique natural features to be a compelling subject. This painting, begun on location and finished later in the studio, depicts Rock and Shoals as I found it one fine winter morning in 2001.

Although historical uses of the outcrop have left it somewhat degraded, it still largely retains the landscape patterns and drought tolerant plant species it has hosted for eons. Groupings of eastern red cedars suggest the location of cracks and deeper soils on the rock face while drifts of little bluestem grasses betray soil depths just deep enough to support herbaceous species in this nutrient poor environment. Four of the most significant outcrop species in Georgia can be found here, including dwarf hatpins, open-ground draba, glade thimbleweed, and elf orpine. Two of these (the draba and orpine) are listed as protected in Georgia. The presence of th

Exhibition History