two of the herfords at sandbriar farms
I was talking with Mark at Mason Murer Gallery last week, and the conversation turned to some cow paintings I had done years ago. Mark told me that he really liked them, and that he thought that they could be a popular subject at his gallery. I had always enjoyed painting cows, and thought this could be an opportunity to return to them. I spent a good part of the next day online searching for cattle ranches in Georgia. I contacted those I thought had potential, and who would allow a stranger with a camera to wander around their fields photographing cows.
karen and her new friend
I hit pay dirt when I discovered Sandbriar Farms down in Statesboro. Kyle Knight the owner/operator of the ranch was very agreeable to my coming down, and spending as much time as I needed. We made arrangements to come down monday morning, and he would get us started. So, when monday rolled around Karen and I awoke around 5 a.m., and hit the road. It was a nice ride. We had two hot cups of coffee, Sissy Spacek reading Carrie on the iPod, and the cruise control engaged. I was a little concerned about the weather, there was a heavy overcast all of the way down. I was hoping for lots of sun. Fortunately just as we pulled into Kyle's driveway, the clouds broke.
Kyle showed us the pastures and pointed out all the gates, then set us free. It was blazingly hot, but the beauty of the location, and all those wonderful cows really took our minds off the temperature. There was also a family of burro's in one of the pastures. I've forgotten his name, Karen calls him Duncan, but the male took a shine to us, and was never more than a couple of steps behind. We wandered the pastures for a couple of hours, then felt we had achieved what we had come for. It was a great experience. Kyle could not have been more gracious. After we packed up our gear he took us over to his 1860's era house that he and his fiancé are restoring. It was gorgeous. A beautiful white clapboard home, surrounded by ancient oaks draped with spanish moss amidst 40 acres of peace and quiet. After our tour, we said our goodbyes, and Kyle directed us to the road heading on to Savannah.
When we were planning this adventure we noticed that Kyle's operation was only an hour from Savannah, so Karen and I decided to spend the rest of the day there, do some more photography, and relax a little. We had booked a terrific hotel right on the river called the River Street Inn. Our room was beautiful, with a balcony overlooking the river walk. We're definitely staying there again on our next trip. The balance of the day was spent walking the streets and squares of Paula Deen's home town. We finished up the day with dinner at Huey's, and an evening stroll along the river walk. It had been a terrific day.
on the balcony of our room shooting the photo above
Karen and I spent the better part of the following day continuing our photographic tour of the city, then headed home around 3 pm. It was a wonderful little get away, and proved to be fruitful as well, in that we got a lot of good photos. The raw material for many future paintings.
Now it's back to Dumbo.