Artists some of most colorful people you meet in life

Published 9:37 pm Thursday, July 9, 2009

Some of the most interesting people I have talked to are artists. I am thankful that my profession has allowed me the opportunity to talk to several local artists about their recent work.

A few months ago I met Robert Ware, a painter from Clanton who has lived in some interesting places, such as New Jersey and New York.

His work can be found in several states and in historic places such as the Carver Museum in Tuskegee and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

Ware’s works are alive with color, and his most common themes are jazz music, Alabama football and African-American pride and history.

One of Ware’s paintings hung in a World Trade Tower prior to the 9/11 tragedy. This particular work was of Jewell Jackson McCabe, founder and chairperson of the Coalition of 100 Black Women.

When I asked Mr. Ware why he painted, he replied, “It relaxes me. Living here with my son, I don’t get bored.”

Ware learned about art from his father and will surely leave behind a great legacy for his son.

More recently, I met Thomas Hobbs, a Clay County native who now makes his home in Clanton with his wife, Beverly.

Mr. Hobbs’ paintings display the beauty of the Appalachia, coastal scenes, and local landscapes like historic churches and even his wife’s flower garden. These works, with their careful detail, invite the observer to a deeper appreciation of life, nature and beauty.

Hobbs worked with another Chilton County painter, the late John Zed King, who operated a studio in northeast Chilton County.

Hobbs both learned from and assisted King, who became ill in his later years.

“Artwork causes you to look a little bit deeper at things,” Hobbs told me. “You don’t just take a scene for granted, for instance. You look at the darks and lights in it.”

Artists have much to teach us about our culture, and they are a dying breed. They cause us to think outside the box. Their work not only marks time; it is timeless.

Examples of both Ware’s and Hobbs’ paintings can be found with a quick search on our Web site,

I hope to meet more local artists and tell their stories.