Besides my ongoing quest to understand the role canebrakes played in presettlement times, I’ve also been wanting to do a snow painting. The two came together on February 10 when a light snow fell in Athens. I woke early the next morning, drove north almost to Franklin, North Carolina, and found these early morning colors as the storm system moved out. This part of the Little Tennessee River Valley was once home to the middle towns of the Cherokee. Francis Harper, in his annotated edition of Bartram’s Travels, says that part of the route Bartram followed in reaching this valley crossed over a mountain rather than follow an easier creek-side path. He suggests the easier low route was blocked at the time by dense canebrakes. In this scene, I portray the valley in winter as it might have looked when the Cherokee lived there. Present are the open old fields that Bartram described as well as the cane (Arundinaria gigantea) Harper refers to. Today, small canebrakes can still be found in the valley invading field edges near the river.
Coordinates of location (view to the southwest): 35.057398, -83.377261
Studio painting – March.
The Classic Center
January 16 - June 16, 2013
UGA Press Office, UGA Main Library 3rd Floor
Exploring the Upcountry with Bartram
April 8 – June 10 2011
The Sandor Teszler Library Gallery at Wofford College
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Lost Species, Visions of Landscapes Past
September 15 – December 9, 2011
The Georgia Museum of Natural History, University of Georgia Campus