Gray's Feet

Gray's Feet by Mary Segars

“How we spend our
days is how we spend our lives.”  -Annie

Gray’s feet hang in my kitchen. Well, not literally, although the painting of Gray Segars’ bare
feet by his mother and Beaufort artist Mary Segars, is so realistic and plainly
connected to life in the Lowcountry, that it defines place. 

Slow Guides™
Guides for the mindful traveler
The way the right foot is firmly planted on
the wooden dock and the left foot crosses back over the right, we believe that
Gray is leaning against the dock railing, and imagine that he’s talking with
his friends and family; that any moment they will climb into a skiff and head
out into the river.  And there is the
way that color, light and shadow makes the painting magically
multi-dimensional, true.  We remember a
special day here with our children, and know that they touch down only lightly
by this sea and return to this place and to those memories. 

The Lowcountry is the subject of many painters who capture
the ways the landscape and its inhabitants make us feel; smells and sounds,
its days and nights, its tastes, its reflections of those we love and their
memories within the landscape. A slow
stroll through the many museums and galleries of Charleston, Beaufort and
Savannah offers very diverse interpretations of natural and cultural themes,
from Alice Ravenel Huger Smith (1876-1958) to Jonathan Green, to Walterboro
outsider artist, Johnnie Griner.  

And on any given day in the Lowcountry a hundred thousand
photographs are taken of fauna, flora, landscapes and people, each photographer
recording their own response to place. Contemporary photographers like Eric Horan, Tom Blagden, Paul Keyserling
and Jack Leigh are good local eyes. Beyond our amateur snaps, they somehow capture our connections to place
through patience, technical expertise and artistry.  

There are essential elements that define place and that
evoke a response from locals and visitors. Here, every day is a natural invitation; fog through the live oaks, a
fall marsh, the infinite space between ourselves and the horizon that invite us
to visit and to remain. As we educate
ourselves about the Lowcountry, our education leads to the evolution of our
personal search pattern and we begin to find what we’re looking for. It’s hard to separate ourselves from our
place.  We think less about what is mine
and more about what is me. 

What are the essential elements that Lowcountry painters and
photographers try to capture, that draw us to the Lowcountry, and how do they
define and describe our collective response to place?  Email us at
with your list of the essential elements that define the Lowcountry and we’ll
share them. 

The Artists

From Slow Guides TM.
Copyright Bill Pendergraft 2010. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.