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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Art Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

Last week, a patron called with a question about mud painting and I was off, digging for answers and learning about art along the way. I had never heard of the technique--painting with mud? are you sure?--but after reading about Jimmy Lee Sudduth and talking to Charles Jenkins, I had a different perspective. These two men, along with others who use the "mud method," simply mix mud with other natural ingredients (like berries) and not-so-natural ingredients (like motor oil) to make a new sort of "paint." Here's one of Mr. Sudduth's mud paintings of his dog Toto:

Turns out, the earth figures into art a lot more than you might initially think. Of course, there is pottery, Mississippi itself having a plethora of talented potters. We can even lay claim to George Ohr, the so-called Mad Potter of Biloxi! By the way, did you know that George liked the fact that the first three letters of his name-G-E-O-were the same as his initials-George Edgar Ohr-so much that he starting following the same naming system with his third child?! (

I enjoyed sifting through all that mud to find people becoming downright whimsical and creative. There are shiny balls of mud.  I found furniture made of mud. One of my favorites, I think, are the take-offs off low rider art, in mud. Take a little trip with me, indeed!

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