About Me

Charlotte Hutson WrennMy name is Charlotte Hutson-Wrenn. My background includes a degree in fine arts from a small private college in Florida after four years of French founded all girls Catholic boarding school in Asheville, NC. I worked as a professional advertising photographer in Miami, taught art, helped my children grow up, and now I love seasoned things, good food, better conversation, beauty, my proud little French named Italian Greyhound, Beau. Now I paint everyday in my studio and I try to share the beauty in words and in pictures here. I am moved not only by the secret paths, allees and gardens of Charleston, but by the sacred places of wild Eden earth that survive on Edisto Island, the last undeveloped sea island in South Carolina, an hour south of Charleston. This island is a labyrinth, with the secrets at the center. I know this place. This I hope to share with you.

54 comments on “About Me
  1. Hi honey! I love love love what you’ve done here! You write as well as you paint! I just love what’ve written. And the photos are lovely. It makes me want to make a website about my ancestors and my ancestral places. You are such a bundle of inspiration in so many ways…
    Love and hugs

  2. Hello Charlotte,
    My name is Anthony “Ant” McKnight, and I’m James Jamerson’s 1st cousin, I just wanted to thank you for your comments on James, if you are on MySpace send me a friend request to http://www.myspace.com/jamesjamerson578
    Thanks Again!!!
    Ant McKnight

  3. anne stone says:

    this is so funny…i write every day too, right when i get up in the morning. i take **two* hours!!! i can not not do this! under the bunk in the stateroom on board are TWO (not one but two) trunks filled with my journals. if i go to davey’s locker, they will too! 90% of these journals are the *same* kind of notebook, research laboratory kind with green pages marked out in little squares in blue ink.
    i’m just not right!


    • Wild kinship! Mine are Moleskins – only the lined kind with the pocket in the back. And I cannot do without the Pentel FX 0.7 mm pencil. Obsessive maybe, but yes, it works. It is sacred time, isn’t it?

  4. Cork Hutson says:

    Hi Charlotte – another cousin, Mike Hutson let me know about your blog. I look forward to reading the posts, particularly about Edisto. Like you, I believe Edisto is THE most special place on Earth. I am actually Harry C. Hutson III but have gone by Corky (now Cork) almost since birth. My parents are Harry and Alice Hutson of Brick House. I just started a new blog, listed below which will be posts of eclectic thoughts centered around Faith, Freedom, Life, Liberty, and the Responsible Pursuit of Happiness…

    Again – I look forward to reading your posts.

    Cork Hutson

  5. Ann Summer says:

    hi Charlotte. Met you last night at the EYC. Thank you again for the lovely postcard which is now right beside my computer.
    Love the website.
    Ann Summer

  6. Ann Summer says:

    P.S. I know William Hutson from Columbia — his parents have a place at Brick House. You kin to them, too?

  7. Quintin Foster says:

    I got to your blog/website through your review of the book, “The Family of Hay…..” I was looking for some infomation on the Calcocks in Beaufort – not certain of the spelling, but a death certificate I found appears to use the “a.”

    Your site luckily got me in touch with a friend from Walterboro, Corky Hutson. His mother taught me in Sunday School.

    I would like to hear from you via e-mail to discuss the Colcock book. Had a question or two. If you don’t mind, please respond via my e-mail.


    Quintin Foster
    Salt Lake City, UT
    but a Walterboro, SC, native and coming to Isle of Palms end of this month

    • Cork Hutson says:

      Quint – You should make sure you visit with my parents when you get to IOP. Did’t know if you knew that Colcock is the middle name for my grandfather, my dad, and me! Mom and Dad have a lot of that info.

  8. Thank you for this wonderful blog. As a native Kentuckian who first came to Charleston at 15, I am about to move back to a place a I consider my second home. Having come to watercolors fairly late in life and having grown to a profoundly mellow view, I can hardly wait to paint Charleston. Your blog has awakened the deeply spiritual part of me that connects to the deeply spiritual nature of the lowcountry. Thank you for that. It shall resonate as I put brush to paper in the coming months and years.

  9. Henry Morrison Glover says:


    Am enjoying your blog! My GG-grandfather was William Ferguson Hutson of McPhersonville, and my father was William Ferguson Hutson Glover, Jr. Took up genealogy as a hobby a couple of years ago and am having a great time learning family history.

    I now live in western Wisconsin, a nice place to live but cold (brrr) and a long way from the great “winters” in Charleston. I am a 1978 graduate of the College of Charleston, and have a brother, nieces, nephews and untold cousins in the Charleston area.

    Keep up the good work with the blog and I look forward to experiencing your new entries!

  10. Steven A. Worthy says:

    Dear Charlotte,

    I’m overjoyed to find your site! I lvie right across the Hudson River in NY from Haverstraw, and it is a lovely town. I’ve even taken the ferry across, which I recommend to anyone.
    I had a great-grandfather, Alexander Cornwell, who had a farm in Columbia, SC, which I visited when quite young. I remember crying when me and other kids got eggs from the henhouse, and mine had to be returned because it was warm and had a baby chick inside!
    Charlotte, I have recently completed a cultural history and genealogical book on the Claude Washington Kress family, and his brothers Samuel and Rush, who owned the S. H. Kress & Co. Five Dime and A Quarter chain stores, mostly in the South and in the West. The family created the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, which donated 3,000 works of European art to the nation. Half went to the National Gallery of Art in DC, and the rest went to over 90 US institutions in towns and cities where S. H. Kress & Co. stores were located. Claude owned Buckfield Plantation in Yemasee, SC, which at one time was the largest source for narcissus bulbs in the world. I think it is now a hunting lodge. Do you know the place, have any anecdotes, or could share your experiences with this five and dime chain? I would be most grateful. My mom was born next door in Savannah.
    This is a wonderful website, and I applaud your promotion of art and artists. There are probably some Kress paintings in a museum near you!
    Thank you again for your insiration and creativity.
    Kind regards,

  11. Joan says:


    We are almost ready to have the opening ceremonies for the garden at St. Francis. It was postponed waiting for the statue of Jesus to arrive. Send me your address so I can make sure you are included.


  12. Kirsten says:

    Good Morning! I found your wonderful website (or maybe it found me?) and would like to subscribe. Unfortunately, the e-mail subscription link only reloads the webpage but does not allow me to sign up for it. Could you add me to your subscription list manually? In the meantime, I have a lot of catching up to do reading all of your amazing posts.


    • Kristen, wow, what a delightful letter surprise from you today. Thank you so much. My subscribe feed was broken, yes, so thanks for telling me about it. I have poked around and hope it is repaired? I would so love your readership, and I really get the finding you thing. What a blessing for me today you are and I hope you stay around! With fondness, Charlotte

      • Kirsten says:


        thank you for your response. Posting to this page somehow set the wheels in motion and automated an e-mail request to confirm my subscription. Hooray! I’m in. I am looking forward to receiving glimpses of your world. Unearthing a treasure like your blog makes me realize how special every thing is.

        Warm regards,

  13. Have been reading your blog and am delighted. I work for a college professor who is a direct decendant of the gullah peoples. And we have an online store; she does lectures and is on the Washington Speakers Board. You captured the truth in the essay (my term for your remarks) about Easter on the Edisto Island.
    so delighted with your work and also your blog. Visit our web site for more info: http://www.ultimategullah.com
    I look forward to another posting on your blog.

    • Sandy! Thank you so much for writing! And reading! Thrilled to know about your website. There is so much yet to write about the Gullah people and culture; I really appreciate your support, Sandy.
      Cheers, Charlotte

  14. Susan Haney says:

    Hello Charlotte,

    I came across your blog by chance and followed it to your website, and I’ve been captivated by your writing! You are so authentic and such a fearless woman. The way you bare your soul as you do through your words is entrancing ~ you are a true artist and such an inspiration, too.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to share with the online community. You make the world a little smaller and a lot warmer for your readers.

    Warm wishes, Susan

  15. featherheart says:

    Hi Charlotte, I found your blog while researching Edisto Island. My family is taking a vacation there for the first time at the end of July. Your blog is filled with beautiful images and words. I thought my readers would also enjoy your blog so I’ve added a link on my site. – Jessica

  16. Deanna Nelson says:

    When I want a little taste of home, I pull up your site.
    my parton to Eudora Welty “Some notes on River Country”
    ….I have felt many times there is a sense of place as powerful as if it were visible and walking and could touch me.
    Dee from Maryland but home is the Lowcounty….

  17. Steven says:

    I thought you may be interested in knowing about a project I am working on where I am photographing the interiors of the historic Churches and Synagogues in Charleston. I have completed about 18 thus far and have many more to go. You can see what has thus far been completed here: http://www.churchesofcharleston.com.

  18. Kevin says:

    Charlotte, my ancestor, Richard Medlin, came to SC on the British ship “The Carolina” around 1679. I saw a painting of this ship on a SC website, but no further information. Any idea where I could get a print? Thanks, Kevin

  19. tdhapgood says:

    I am visiting the Charleston area this month and was thinking of taking a trip to Edisto for shelling and fossil hunting. As I was researching how to do this I stumbled on to your fabulous blog. I would love to meet you. Do you offer tours of the area? I’m an English teacher (this explains my joy in your literary quotes) and my husband is a pilot. We have sold our house in Texas and are traveling for a year while trying to pick a place to live (or hopefully, have a place pic us!) We’re trying to get to know the area and you seem like a wealth of information. I have a wordpress blog too. So if you want to check me out..feel free. http://www.2vagabond.wordpress.com My email is tdhapgood@gmail.com. Now I need to read more of your blog!

  20. Charlotte,

    I enjoyed meeting you yesterday at the With These Hands Gallery reception. Your paintings on exhibit there are lovely – wonderfully colorful. I also look forward to many good reads now that I have found your blog.


    • Sue! Thank you! Loved meeting you too and seeing your sensitive work. Really appreciate the visit to the blog – any comments on any posts would be most appreciated:) I am away for a few days in the mountains but look forward to looking at your website when I return. Cheers, Charlotte

  21. Ginger says:

    Oh.. Charlotte. My new friend– light in all the darkness. I feel so blessed to have met you.

    This first thing I did this morning was check out your blog. How magnificient!! You are so beautiful and talented.

    Thank for being such wonderful art, history and truth to Charleston.

    In reading your blog this morning.. I felt sometime kind of kindered spirit to you… I felt we were somehow destinty played a role in our encounter.

    Please continue posting and sharing with us all. Ginger

  22. Max Montana says:

    Having lived in the midwest my entire life, I have no real connection to South Carolina, Charleston, or the Low Country. I’m not even sure to what the Low Country refers. While I have always had an appreciation of art, it has never been primary to the adventures in which I’ve sought. On a recent visit to Summerville, I was most fortunate to meet a grand ambassador of Edisto Island, who shared your blog with me. I have visited it frequently in the past few days and have developed a great appreciation for its subject as well as its author. I wish to congratulate you on your great perspective, openness, and effort. It has created within me a desire to some day experience the allure of Edisto Island first hand. I felt compelled to add my praise and appreciation to those that have already done so.

    • Dear Max! Thank you for coming back! You must come back to visit the South Carolina Lowcountry, to Edisto but also to Charleston, a most charming city. The Lowcountry is, in addition to her beauty, distinguished by Oak Allees (the French word for alley, a word you might know;) which are avenues of live oak trees that line long driveways. My little two acre plot is also called Allee de Lune – Alley of the Moon. Charleston is small, historic and famous these days for our rock star chefs so do think about coming back to visit. And hey, that ol Alley Cat Lounge might need some art:) I have some pieces that would only be too cool in a place like yours;) Thanks again for writing. I hope you will continue to visit here!

  23. Annie Taylor says:

    Came across your blog purely by chance and couldn’t get over how much of it chimed with where I am at the moment with my work, I am a landscape painter, as well as with the books I have read, my ideas and my own philosophy. I am just embarking on a new series of work based on the light at the end of the tunnel, which is the theme that I realise has recurred again and again in my paintings and that I now want to focus on. That photograph you took is extraordinary.

  24. Leake Little says:

    Hi – nice work, and sentiments. I’ve signed up for the ride!

  25. Ayoung says:


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  26. kk648610 says:

    Happy 2nd anniversary, dearest Lotty! It’s coming up any day now, correct?
    Keep up your great work. Combining the tangible with that which cannot be expressed in words: Nature with Poetry with Art with History with Humanity….ALL GOOD! Thank you for sharing with us, your blog readers, your walk through your own personal labyrinth.

    “We are all just walking each other home” _ Ram Dass

    Lots of love,

  27. Hello, I’m not sure if this is the same plantation but I found information on Belvidere Plantation and thought you may be interested from reading your post.. http://www.halseymap.com/Flash/window.asp?HMID=12

  28. Bob Carl says:

    Cheers! I enjoyed reading your blog. It is wonderful and full of the charm of the lowcountry and Charleston. I’m a transplant here (originally from Ohio, coming from Nashville, TN.) and learning as I go. It has been four years since I discovered this area quite by accident. I love Edisto Beach too. I serve as an art teacher at the small elementary school there. I also teach art in Ruffin, quite a different area, but none the less rich and interesting on it’s own merits as well. I and a small group of artists are forming the Colleton County Artist’s Guild. we would love to have your participation too. We are locating to the South Carolina Artisan’s Center property along with the Colleton County Arts Council. We meet the first Monday of every month. In July, we meet on the 11th due to the Independence Day Holiday which falls on a Monday this year. We meet at 6 pm. We are planning exhibits for the rest of the year. Anyway, I loved reading your blog and I look forward to seeing it again. Bob

  29. Charlotte,

    We connected a while ago through our mutual admiration for Joseph Campbell and his teaching. I had just started a new website for author Arthur C. Morgan, a short-lived pen name for a new series of novels. The pen name seemed like a good idea at the time, an attempt to keep separate two different genres of novels. In reality, the attempt left me feeling schizophrenic and Arthur C. Morgan disappeared.

    Anyway, the blog I posted at the site about Joseph Campbell was from the heart. I’ll be reposting it at my usual site in a week or so under my real name.

    I’m writing this post because I don’t want to lose contact with you. I have enjoyed your paintings and your thoughts.


  30. Darcy says:

    My husband is a direct descendent also of Mary Het (Het>Smith>Sewell>Bonner>Boardman>Hoisington. I was excited to find a portrait of her on your website.

  31. Nancy Hopp says:

    I am interested in your book on the Kress family. We recently bought a Lodge in Whittier, NC that they built starting in 1940. We have turned it into a bed and breakfast and are working to get information about their ownership. The locals have given us wonderful stories about how the Kress Family contributed to life in the Mountains. They paid $1.00 a day for workers at the lodge in the 40’s. They built the first school in the county. They brought in Italian Masons to do the stone work from stones quarried on the mountain and built a saw mill to create the lumber used in the residence. They even built a trade school to teach local youth the skills needed to be tradesmen. They were loved by some. We have also heard stories about the property resembling a Nazi fortification and that some locals were concerned… We have had trouble getting any real info and no one seems to have written about this part of their history. We have some beautiful charcoal portraits of the three brothers that we found in the attic. We also know that the Kress Corp sold the property to Smokey Mountain Mental Health in the 1970’s. Please let me know if you know of any information about the Lodge.

    • Hi Nancy. I did not write about the Kress family but it does seems that I received a comment about such here somewhere…. maybe you can find it. It must have come up in the google search. Great luck on your lodge! Sounds wonderful!

  32. hi Charlotte! je m’apelle Michel! mon Francais c’est terrible! Anyway i like your”French Connection” and would hasten to assure you that we do indeed have Huguenot conections in our family- oddly i married a (lapsed) Catholic gal with Cajun(Acadian) parentage so i’ve closed some kind of loop- now my son wants to learn French! in the genes?Any way my current thing is to trace our branch as far back as possible- i saw the original family tree as a kid but was too young to rmember much- my oldest cousin may have a copy…you and i have the same G-G-Grandfather- is Charles Woodward Hutson your great grandfather?he had a son Albert Lockett Hutson who was a Navy captain and my grandfather…it’s late but i would like to share family history with you if you are so minded…

  33. Wanted to let you know I’ve nominated you for The One Lovely Blog Award | The Very Inspiring Blogger Award. For more information check out this post http://parametricdrawing.com/2013/01/14/flower-hypotrochoid-drawing/

  34. Jonathan Newell says:

    Hi Nancy, I ran across your site while doing some research for a project on Colonel Charles Jones Colcock, grandson of Mary Woodward Hutson, in turn the granddaughter of the Reverend William Hutson. Uncovering the many connections between Charleston and Beaufort societies and the extensive kinship networks has been fascinating. I’m interested in knowing if there are members of the Hutson and Colcock families who would be interested in fielding some questions and collaborating on the project.

    • Hi Jonathan! My name is Charlotte, not Nancy:) but yes, how interesting. He is buried with my grandfather and ancestors at Pocotaligo in the Stoney Creek graveyard. I do have some friends you may want to write to. Will email you.

      • Jonathan Newell says:

        Thanks so much Charlotte. I do apologize for mixing up the names. Perhaps I shouldn’t be emailing and posting comments at these pre-dawn hours of the morning:-) I hope to visit the cemetery in a few months when I escape the wilds of New Hampshire and get back to God’s country.

  35. I hope you received the email with two people who may help to further your research. Cheers!

  36. Good Morning Charlotte. What a wonderful blog you have going here! Your art display is beautiful and as a new Charlestonian (a little over a year now), I can see some of the places that are in the artwork when I’m adventuring the area. The reason for my comment is I am looking for historical information on Charleston that I’m not seeming to find. Someone recently told me that Charleston was/is known as the Paris of the South, but I find little to no reference to it. Can you tell me if this is a truth or just “folk lore”? Currently I am working on setting up my new clothing line (for une femme d’un certain age) and would really like to start working Charleston the Paris of the South in as part of my brand building. If you know of any historical reference, I would be greatly appreciative of the information. In the mean time, I am following your blog and look forward to your next post.


    • Hello Gina! Welcome to Charleston! Wow, thank you for the kind words! Well, OF COURSE Charleston is the Paris of the South! I will write a blog post saying so if you want, lol! All one has to do is walk both cities! And EAT in both, too! And soak in the beauty of both! Do it! Cheers, Charlotte

  37. Will says:

    I find your site interesting. Your artwork is great too. I’ve just become interested in my genealogy and Hutson ancestry. Hutson is my middle name. I am William Hutson Prioleau V. Six generations ago a female Hutson married into the Prioleau family. I believe now that William Hutson came from the Reverend William Hutson in Beaufort. I plan to look into that resource you provide on the site over Hutson ancestry sometime.

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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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