Carl McKenzie Room


(repost from IntuOutsiderArt)

Carl McKenzie

Born 1905 (d. 1998) Wolfe County, Kentucky, lived in Nada, Kentucky.

We would without hesitation say that Carl McKenize is one of our favorite self-taught artists from Kentucky. Inspired by Edgar Tolson of the Campton school of Appalachian wood carvers, we think his style was uniquely his own and evolved over time. The characters or personalities of his figures translated, whether he was carving Adam & Eve, one of his topless waitresses, a postman, or a nurse. His technique and materials use was resourceful, he showed further innovation with his use of split or feathered twigs as paint brushes.

Our introduction to Carl McKenzies’s work, like so many other artists in our collection, was through Arthur Jones and his gallery,Art Jones Gallery. We purchased several of McKenzie’s colorful, patterned painted figures, “Sue,” a “Hunter,” and a “Student” dated 1986, 1986, and 1987, during the period between 1988-1990. (read more here)

The Whippoorwhill Room

The Whip-Poor-Will

Do you remember, father,–
It seems so long ago,–
The day we fished together
Along the Pocono?
At dusk I waited for you,
Beside the lumber-mill,
And there I heard a hidden bird
That chanted, “whip-poor-will,”
“_Whippoorwill! whippoorwill!_”
Sad and shrill,–“_whippoorwill!_”The place was all deserted;
The mill-wheel hung at rest;
The lonely star of evening
Was quivering in the west;
The veil of night was falling;
The winds were folded still;
And everywhere the trembling air
Re-echoed “whip-poor-will!”
“_Whippoorwill! whippoorwill!_”
Sad and shrill,–“_whippoorwill!_”You seemed so long in coming,
I felt so much alone;
The wide, dark world was round me,
And life was all unknown;
The hand of sorrow touched me,
And made my senses thrill
With all the pain that haunts the strain
Of mournful whip-poor-will.
“_Whippoorwill! whippoorwill!_”
Sad and shrill,–“_whippoorwill!_”What did I know of trouble?
An idle little lad;
I had not learned the lessons
That make men wise and sad,
I dreamed of grief and parting,
And something seemed to fill
My heart with tears, while in my ears
Resounded “whip-poor-will.”
“_Whippoorwill! whippoorwill!_”
Sad and shrill,–“_whippoorwill!_”‘Twas but a shadowy sadness,
That lightly passed away;
But I have known the substance
Of sorrow, since that day.
For nevermore at twilight,
Beside the silent mill,
I’ll wait for you, in the falling dew,
And hear the whip-poor-will.
“_Whippoorwill! whippoorwill!_”
Sad and shrill,–“_whippoorwill!_”But if you still remember,
In that fair land of light,
The pains and fears that touch us
Along this edge of night,
I think all earthly grieving,
And all our mortal ill,
To you must seem like a boy’s sad dream,
Who hears the whip-poor-will.
“_Whippoorwill! whippoorwill!_”
A passing thrill–“_whippoorwill!_”

© Henry Van Dyke. All rights reserved

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