Living in the Green Country

My maternal grandfather was an Arkie — like the Okies from Grapes of Wrath, but he and his wife moved to California from Arkansas in the 1930s. As a kid I was always puzzled by Grandpa’s tendency to use “country” not to refer to the United States as a whole, but to a specific area of countryside — as in, “Well, fact of the business, that whole week I’d get up of a mornin’ and walk about the country for an hour or two before breakfast.” Or: “I don’t much like that country — not enough trees.”

Spotted this piece of art by George Callaghan on Twitter — Vivre dans le pays vert, or “Living in the green country” in French.

(To embiggen images below, right-click and open image in new browser tab. Yeah, I’m still figuring out why click-to-embiggen doesn’t work.)

Reminds me of a few of my favorite artists:

Grant Wood:

George Tooker:

And, of course Eyvind Earle and his fantastically styled yet still absolutely true depictions of California’s green and golden coastal farms, hills, and valleys.

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