Painting My Way Home – My Garden Gate in Fall

Garden Gate in Fall – Jacki Kellum Watercolor Painting

Please allow me to begin this by saying that I am more liberal than I am conservative. Unlike many people in the South, I am not a fan of Donald Trump’s politics nor of his loud-mouthed bullying, and especially not of his inappropriate presidential tweets. Also unlike many in the South, I do not sympathize with any notions of building a gigantic wall at the borders of our country, and I am not in favor of loading up all of the illegal aliens and blasting them somewhere else. I guess I am left-winged, but I still like the America that welcomed immigrants through the portals at Ellis Island and New Orleans. Most of my own ancestors came through those gates. and I am still moved by the words on the statue of liberty:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Unlike many Southerners, I am still a welcome mat for people from somewhere else, but even though I am currently living in the North, I am still a Southerner at heart, and my painting Garden Gate in Fall [with Poke Berries] is about the Southerness within me.

I have a very natural, cottage garden.  do not allow grass to grow anywhere in my yard. I only allow flowers, trees, shrubs, and some of the wild things that seem to want to plant themselves and grow.  For the past two years. I have allowed poke plants to grow to their full, magnificent height. The poke plant’s purple berries are spectacular, but they are poisonous. My garden is completely enclosed, and I don’t have to worry about my poisonous plants bothering anyone else. Last fall, I noticed that a poke plant had nearly taken over my garden gate. I snapped a photo of it, and I promised myself that I would paint it one day.

As I said before, I live in the North now, and I would never have thought that poke plants would live in the North. To me, poke plants are all about the South. People in the South used to eat poke regularly. In the same way that they cook turnip greens, they would boil the leaves. I may live in the North now, and I am quite sure that I am not fully conservative, but I will always be a Southerner at heart. I miss my South, and because I am able to make art, I am Painting My Way Back Home


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