The Artists Comments:

Eileen Nichols and I (Jenny Hamilton), like many 'en plein air', painters before us roam the countryside looking for the sites we feel have a special aesthetic or as artists say - 'speak to us'. The silent beckoning of a curve ahead or a new side road to explore has yielded us rich material for our paintings. During the course of this project we found old family run stores, [by one in business since before York was a county], ranches and farms still worked by descendants of early settlers, old mansions that used to be boarding houses for weary train travelers [notable because passenger trains no longer offer transportation anywhere in this county] in the early part of the century, small towns begun in the early 1800's that still hold much of that charm and communities which were once actual destinations that have all but disappeared and have left only a ghostly shell. Much of our tour follows the paths of early settlers [highway 49 and highway 160, for example], some take a back road or two, some lead to newer settlements. Not all of our attention has been on finding historical connections. Our first intention was to paint what we liked - basically we were just concerned with representing the now. 

Change is everywhere. The tour starts in Rock Hill with a popular local restaurant. That same restaurant moved its location of 30 years shortly after we began the project. The tour ends at the new location.

No matter who you are, where you live has had a past. The past sometimes can enrich our lives by just creating a permanence for the ground we walk on. We cannot change the past nor predict the future - these paintings reflect only our vision at the time we did them. They will always represent the moment in time they were painted.

©blackcat Studio 1995