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George Wardlaw, A Life In Art – Early Beginnings

Friday, May 29, 2015

Part 1 in our series on featured artist George Wardlaw, whose work is on view in George Wardlaw, A Life in Art: 1954-2014.

George Wardlaw was raised in the small town of Baldwyn, Mississippi and embodies the ethos of The Mississippi Story. Raised on his family’s Prentiss County Farm, he became deeply rooted in southern traditions and developed a strong connection to the land. He helped raise cotton, corn, soybeans, and hay for the farm’s cows and horses. He knew everything a farmer’s life entailed at a young age.

Wardlaw’s earliest influences came from his parents, George Wiley Wardlaw and Lillie Lee Tapp Wardlaw. His mother’s quilting taught him about the social environment connected to art making, as well as how to appreciate color and pattern. His father would submit dog sketches to register the hunting dogs he bred for quail hunting, adding spots in the right places to give them identity, and Wardlaw remembers his drawings contained a certain power, “like magic” when finished each time. It is likely Wardlaw’s early drawing was influenced by the distinctive and abstract details in his father’s drawing observed as a boy.

See his work on view in George Wardlaw, A Life in Art: Works from 1954 to 2014 through August 16, 2015.

JT- Camel Who Took A Walk, 2013, acrylic, charcoal, pencil, on canvas, 78x54 in.