Amite, Louisiana – R.C. Davis Studio

2 Aug

RC Davis Adds Final Touches to His Latest Painting

I like to ride over to my visit with my friend Chris Davis in Hillsdale, which is near Amite, Louisiana.  It is nice to sit with him and discuss items of the day while he diligently paints at his easel.  In the meantime I stay busy petting his three terriers and a heeler.  The dogs like the large easy chair in his studio as much as I do.  The studio has changed some over the years but I notice that the smell of turpentine and linseed oil and other aromas no longer fill the air and that is something I miss very much.

Many of those that know the art scene in the Gulf South know Chris as RC Davis.  Heis one of the best known artist in the region and known for his paintings of the rural parts of South Louisiana.

Davis's Brush Works Quickly Highlighting Areas of His Painting

He also has a love of the Louisiana Coastal areas and when he is not painting he is often headed for the Louisiana Coast to fish for speckled trout and to enjoy the entire area of what we call the marshes and coast.  On occasion I accompany Chris to the Gulf Coast and I love to see the water and the marsh and the birds and to do my best photographing these things mostly from a moving boat.  In fact I spend most of my time doing that while Chris fishes or is figuring out how to get the boat out of shallow water. Ha, sometimes I wonder why he tolerates me because it is more work for him – maybe I should take the fishing more seriously and the photos less so since it is impossible to get a great picture while bobbing and weaving around in the water.  But a photographer has the delusion, or the hope, that somehow he will still capture a wonderful scene.  Well, I guess they all are amazing down in the Coastal part of Louisiana even if a little blurry.  Each image has a special memory to me regardless of what it looks like.

However, on the day of this visit Chris was finishing up what he calls his “Pelican Piece.”  He said that he loves the pelicans along the coast and that he thinks of them every time he thinks of that area.  They indeed are a beautiful bird and it seems that they dominate the skies and activities when we are out there.  Chris has done Pelicans before but the oil spill has been weighing heavy on his mind lately.  We do not know the fate of the birds and fish and dolphins that we so dearly cherish.  We do not know the fate of the marshes where we spend a great deal of time.

I think that Chris is missing the Gulf so much that he is painting part of his favorite memories.  When down there one learns to feel that the pelicans and dolphins are indeed friends and he is missing his old friends.

The Pallet For the Pelican Painting

During one visit to the coast we headed to the marshes to anchor and bed down for the night.  A trio of dolphins followed us into the marshes – they had followed us while in the Gulf.  All during the night they would surface and exhale the air from their air holes and at times the blasts that would awaken us.  It happened many times that night but it was a beautiful thing and was not bothersome at all.

Before daylight one of the dolphins pounded on the boat with his tail.  Now that woke us up!  We noticed a bad storm coming in from the Gulf and thought that it would probably arrive at about time the tide was out.  I think that dolphin was telling us that they were leaving as bad weather was on the way and that they were getting out of there.  We should have left when they did.  We got caught in the middle of the storm, out in the Gulf, and before long waves were going over the boat.  One hit me directly in the face.

All of these things were going through my mind as Chris added highlights to his pelican picture. One of the merchants, that carries his paintings, thought that the darkness along the shore was too reminiscent of the oil spill.  The sun was going down in the painting and of course the shore area had shadows, but no oil was in this image!

Chris decided that he could add highlights to the shore and to the water near the shore and his brush worked quickly with white and blue paint as we talked.

Rainbow Greets Us as We Hit the Road with Pelican Painting

He finished up pretty quickly and the painting was placed in the back of his truck and we headed down the road to show it to his brother.  As we pulled into the driveway we noticed a rainbow in the distance even though we had not seen any rain.  We thought we could get a better view in a open field just down the road and so we, along with the painting, headed to the field.  When we arrived there was a rainbow that stretched all across the sky and we could see both ends.  What a sight.  I wonder if it will one day show up in a future painting of RC Davis.

I plan to do a post, in the future, on his gallery.  It is a gallery that he created from an old chicken farm barn.  If you wish you can visit his gallery at this link:  I just looked at his website and the new piece has been posted.  It is named Gulf Flight.

Let me say that my photographs are just snap shot images and in no way exhibit the wonderful color and superb artwork for which Chris is known.  My images are just here to help tell the story.

One Response to “Amite, Louisiana – R.C. Davis Studio”

  1. Sandy November 20, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    I truly enjoyed reading your article about Chris as he and his wife are friends of ours. I am really jealous reading about the dolphin experience as I was born and raised in Pensacola and all my life dreamed of swimming with these much underestimated creatures all my life. I finally had my life dream come true one afternoon off of Shell Island, which is in Panama City, St.Andrews State Park. A hidden secret to most that want to stay around all the tourist attractions in the city. If you are ever over that way, check it out. Thanks for all you nice words and support for Chris, he is a rare kind. Sandy Richbourg,Kentwood,LA.

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