Amelia Island Florida

Wild beauty.

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Posted in art, beauty, travel

ForeMothers. Searching for Ancestors

501F6E9F-BE42-4F8D-B458-F7C606773415-3095-000001F80CD23A5D_file“Oh Child
Look within
Find your ForeMothers
Find them
Find them”
― Malebo Sephodi

Strong women ancestors. That is what I began with. The crux of my curiosity came to me while walking a labyrinth, outside, on a winter day in about 2007.

The history of my own family is deeply rooted in South Carolina history, and of course is full of paradox. Half of the stories lie in an historic cemetery, Stoney/Stony Creek, in what was called Indian Land. The image above must be the church. Charles Fraser painted this between 1796-1806 and titled it Meeting House, identifiable by the creek and road, which is still the same. Pocotaligo is now in Hampton County near Yemassee. Stoney/Stony Creek Independent Church was founded by dissenters in 1743, and included my ancestor Rev. William Hutson, who was its first pastor, called by Hugh Bryan an early settler in the region and zealous Christian. The story is that Hugh Bryan hired William Hutson to teach his many slaves to read, which was against the law. The church was burned in 1865. There are no black members buried here, although they are clearly in the records as members. Nearby was Prince William’s Parish Sheldon Church, today in ruins and evocative.

But because I was born, I have great reverence for the ancestors’ strength and faith. And many of my grandmothers and grandfathers are here. Being alive is no small thing. Stoney Creek Presbyterian Foundation cares for the cemetery today. I was asked to share how to donate to its upkeep. Hutson, Martin, Colcock, McLeod (THIS story is fascinating and involves Scots and Native Americans) and Frampton families are buried here among others. Support the preservation of the Stony Creek Presbyterian Foundation, P.O. Box 279, Beaufort, South Carolina, 29901.

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Posted in architecture, Arts & Culture, history, religion, South Carolina History, women

Mary Jane Oliver, September 10, 1935 – January 17, 2019

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Posted in Arts & Culture, beauty, creativity, Poetry, religion, spirituality, women, Writing

It is the Light. Winter Solstice, 2018

Pine Forest ©2014 C Hutson Wrenn

Pine Forest 7″x5″ oil on panel ©2014 C Hutson Wrenn

Wishing Light and Love to you as we celebrate the last dark day of this year.

Love, Charlotte

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Posted in art, beauty, Charleston South Carolina, photography, spirituality, travel

What can we learn?

Travel makes you modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.
– Gustave Flaubert

Anthony Bourdain, food writer and cook, died this month. Here he speaks to Patrick Radden Keefe at the 2017 New Yorker Festival.

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Posted in Arts & Culture, Food, spirituality, travel, Writing

Full Circle

This picture is about the full circle of spring and the peony, which blossoms, then dies, perennially. My mother died this month. She was 96. Charlotte Sr. was charming and blonde to the end. My daughter, Hadley, read Mary Oliver’s beautiful poem, Peonies, at the Service of Thanksgiving, for her life, was at Christ Episcopal Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was the week of peony bloom. She taught me to value beauty.

This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready

to break my heart

as the sun rises, 

as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers

and they open —

pools of lace, 

white and pink —

and all day the black ants climb over them,

boring their deep and mysterious holes

into the curls, 

craving the sweet sap, 

taking it away

to their dark, underground cities —

and all day

under the shifty wind, 

as in a dance to the great wedding,

the flowers bend their bright bodies, 

and tip their fragrance to the air, 

and rise, 

their red stems holding

all that dampness and recklessness 

gladly and lightly, 

and there it is again — 

beauty the brave, the exemplary,

blazing open. 

Do you love this world? 

Do you cherish your humble and silky life? 

Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?

Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden, 

and softly, 

and exclaiming of their dearness, 

fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,

with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling, 

their eagerness

to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are

nothing, forever.

 

Posted in Arts & Culture

Hutchinson House on Edisto Island.

The images below were taken by the great LIFE magazine photographer Walter Sanders. He was born in Germany but left in 1933 when Hitler came to power, and was employed with LIFE from 1944 to 1961. He died in his home in Munich, Germany.  Walter, according to Life Photographer Carl Mydans,  played a major role in the making of Life Magazine. He also visited Edisto Island and took these photographs. 

 

I am researching The Hutchinsons of Edisto, and hoping to find more details about the family history. Many of you are familiar with my paintings of this evocative place. My job as an artist is to tell the untold story that I feel as I walk the land. These are stories I hear in the air, which I tried to capture in this painting I call Blue House. If you have family history of the Hutchinson family, or neighboring families of freedman, I invite you to comment or find me. The Hutchinson House on Point of Pines Road, is hopefully being preserved now, by the Edisto Island Open Land Trust, and it will stand, God Willing, to tell the honest truth.

Blue House ©2012 C.Hutson Wrenn

Blue House. 18″x18″

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Posted in architecture, art, Arts & Culture, Gullah, photography

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What’s this?

Welcome to my blog about the Lowcountry of South Carolina, a place proud with beauty, history and art. Sometimes we feel a call, to be, to go, to do. I was called to be an artist, and as an old midwife from Alabama said, “If the good Lord wants you to do something, you won’t have no good luck until you do it.”

So here I am writing about what I know, about the 'under glimmer' as the poet Basho, says, the way I have learned to see, to notice. I am inspired by, and talking about the history and art and culture of this place that has called me to herself. By the ancestors.

My background includes a degree in fine arts from a small private college in Florida, and before that, four years of all girls' boarding school in Asheville. I worked as a professional photographer, helped my children grow up, and now and I love seasoned things, good food, better conversation, beauty, my beloved and beautiful Italian Greyhound, Beau. Moved by the sacred places and stories of this beautiful historic land called the Lowcountry, I am here in spirit and I hope to infect you with my love of this place.

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