Charleston, South Carolina, A Room with a View

“Why should we use our creative power? Because there is nothing that makes people so generous, joyful, lively, bold and compassionate, so indifferent to fighting and the accumulation of objects and money.” – Brenda Ueland

Rooftop View (Library of Congress)

Rooftop View (Library of Congress)

This rooftop view of Charleston, the view that I also love in Paris, is a photograph from the grand collection of the Library of Congress, a treasure trove of visual history, available to us online. It was taken in Charleston, from the roof of No. 20 East Battery, looking Southwest, by a photographer named C.O. Greene in 1940. During the depression of the 1930’s, swarms of photographers, writers and muralists were employed, by the Works Progress Administration, to document buildings and cemeteries and communities. The WPA was the largest New Deal Agency and it employed millions of people. Many of our cemetery records were recorded then, and the records are genealogical jewels for those of us who love studying family history. One of my favorite little books produced by the WPA is called The Ocean Highway, New Brunswick, New Jersey to Jacksonville, Florida; American Guide Series, produced by Modern Age Books, 1938. It is the 1,000 mile journey of US 1 and the details about mostly the rural areas South Carolina are detailed and mapped carefully with mile markers. The unknown authors travel to Pocotaligo, where the Reverend William Hutson first preached at the Stony Creek Independent, later, Presbyterian, Church, and they write about Edisto Island, and Peter’s Point Plantation and a dynamic small Gullah church off Steamboat Landing Road, called “The Sanctify”.

I like to think we could do some of this again, that we, as Americans could reprioritise. Daniel Pink in his book, A Whole New Mind, seems to think that the Master of Fine Arts degree is the new MBA. Tough times demand creative solutions. The challenging economic situation we are living through now, may, l like to think, lead us back to the arts. Arts exist to help us heal, to make us dance, to nurture our spirits. If there ever was a time when we all needed generous, joyful, lively, bold and compassionate people, it is now.

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I was called to be an artist. And as an old old midwife said to me "If the Lord wants you to do something, you won't have no good luck' til you do." So, here I am, sharing what I love, longing to illuminate the work of art, which is everywhere.

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Posted in architecture, art, beauty, Charleston South Carolina, creativity, South Carolina History, travel, Writing

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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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