by Larissa Reinhart's Cherry Tucker
To an artist, everything on the canvas is a matter of perspective. This is also true in life. For example, I, Cherry Tucker, choose to live in my hometown of Halo, Georgia, even though I was classically trained at Savannah College of Art and Design. Some might question a portrait artist living in a hick town where folks like to buy their art from the guy selling motel overstock in front of the Tru-Buy. Culture in Halo may mean commemorative NASCAR plates for now, but I believe there’s room for growth. Besides, even though they drive me crazy, my family is in Halo. And I like living in a hick town. You can’t get away with much because everyone knows your business, but for people like me, that’s not always a bad thing. Like it or not, there’s no telling what I might get up to without a public check on my doings.
For a while, I was doing pretty good with the local child and hunting dog portrait crowd. Lately, I’ve had problems promoting my art due to that unfortunate coffin portrait of Dustin Branson, but it’s Shawna Branson who’s the real thorn in my side. Shawna and I have had a rocky past. She’s never liked my scrappy temperament, my notorious family history, nor my ability to paint circles around her in local art competitions. And I’ve never appreciated her finesse at stealing my boyfriends and ruining my reputation. Now that Shawna is chairman of the Forks County Arts Council, she plans to make sure I don’t cross to her side of the tracks. And she’s been particularly vindictive lately, ever since her step-cousin and my old-flame-turned-new, Luke Harper, has returned to town.
Not to say that I’m limited to selling art in Halo. My friend and local potter, Eloise, has recommended me to her professor’s art show in Athens. The call is for a modern take on classical subjects, but getting into an Athen’s gallery could do great things for my career without my leaving Halo. I just have to convince my boyfriend, Deputy Luke Harper, to pose. He’s tall and lean with great muscle definition. Even has the dark, curly hair and dimples to pass as a Greek God. A V-cut to die for. Only problem, he refuses to model for me. Particularly nude. However, my sort-of-ex-husband, Todd McIntosh, would have no problem dropping his skivvies for some Greek styled poses. He’s blonde and buff, but sketching your nekkid sort-of-ex-husband is something that’d cause me all sorts of trouble. And not just with Luke. Did I mention the men-make-us-stupid gene passed down from my momma?
Eloise also convinced me to sell paintings at the Sidewinder Annual Brunswick Stew Cook Off. Sidewinder is south of Halo, a spit-in-the-road town, once a cotton plantation pre-Sherman’s-March-on-Georgia, and made famous by the annual Brunswick Stew Cook Off. This year the Forks County Arts Council has added a craft and art fair to the cook off. Eloise and I are spending a weekend sitting in an old cotton field under the burning rays of a Georgia summer sun hocking her Raku pottery and my little oils of Georgia Bulldogs and bowls of peaches. Hindsight tells me we’d make more money selling edible ice sculptures. However, there’s been a lot of fights between the cook off competitors, so at least this weekend’s proving interesting. Let’s just hope they don’t start spiking each other’s stew and getting everybody sick. Eloise’s eaten a bunch of stew already...
PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY:
STILL LIFE IN BRUNSWICK STEW:
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