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JEA Art Gallery in Savannah displaying Clyo artist's work
Norman Blackwell's "Nautica" - photo by Photo submitted
There seems to be so much darkness in the world. Why create more?
Norman Blackwell

 RINCON — Some might say that 84-year-old Norman Blackwell is a colorful character.

Apparently, the Jewish Educational Art Alliance (JEA) agrees. Some of Blackwell's paintings will be on display at the JEA Art Gallery, 5111 Abercorn St., Savannah, through Sept. 30.

Blackwell is from Clyo, not exactly an art Mecca.

"Believe me, it is an odd place for an artist to live," Blackwell said with a chuckle. "It gives me an opportunity to do nothing put paint. A lady from Savannah who bought one of my paints said she wanted to come see my studio.

"If she could see it, she'd probably turn the painting back in."

Even though he lives in a rural area teeming with wildlife, Blackwell draws his artistic inspiration from his imagination.

"I have the most vivid imagination anywhere," he said. "Sometimes it's not so good, either, but I can look at something and see a painting in it."

Blackwell sizes up virtually everyone and everything he sees as a potential subject.

"I'm just interested in shapes and colors," he said. "I've been painting so long that I have been through it all."

Blackwell stays away from dark colors.

"That's just not my thing," he said. "My theme is, 'There seems to be enough darkness in the world. Why create more?'

"There's just too much of it and I like things that are cheery."

See the Sept. 15 edition of the Effingham Herald for more details.