Artist Gordon Duckworth - a real rockin' hillbilly in Blairsville, Georgia
All kinds of people live in the North Georgia Mountains. Some come from other countries, many come from other states, and some have been here all their lives. Some are looking for a little bit of paradise, some are escaping from the rat race, some are regular country folks, and a few are mountain born hillbillies.
Gordon Duckworth is a hillbilly with an eye for folk art. He fits the image with his long beard, felt hat, southern accent, and more recently a paintbrush.
Duckworth was born and raised in Union County. Most old timers probably remember his dad, Ralph. Ralph Duckworth worked at the Sunshine Laundromat (next to the Tastee Freeze) for many years. He was the skinny old man that gave out quarters for the machines and carried baskets of clothes for the ladies. Gordon says memories of being raised by his Dad bring inspiration to his art.
Duckworth never painted a picture in his life until 2005. A roofer by trade, Gordon turned to painting as a means of relaxation. It was a surprise when relatives and friends started buying up his work.
Duckworth paints on rocks. "There are waterfalls, animals, and faces in the texture of the stone. My favorites are creek rocks that have been worn smooth throughout the centuries." A new painting on canvas is in the works. "I figured I'd give it a try. The paint sure goes on easier." Says Duckworth.
Duckworth currently sells his artwork from a booth at Foster's Flea Market. He has also done some commissioned work. Subjects range from mountains and Biblical scenes, to humorous nudes. "I usually paint from nature or history. My favorite subjects are farmers working the land, covered wagons and Indians."
Duckworth's work has various lifestyle themes including motorcycles riders and bluegrass musicians. Each rock is unique with a touch of simple insight. Bright colors and vivid shapes hold each composition together. In true hillbilly fashion, Duckworth says, "Ya'll give me a call or look me up at the flea market on Saturday. I'll sure sell you a rock."