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Maria Cherry Gallery


Southern American Realism

Fine Art By HR Lovell, Meet the Artist & the Man Behind the Paintings

Documentary Video

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Artist H.R. Lovell

Video clip about Harold Lovell and his art from the Creative License TV show.

"The Veteran"


H.R. Lovell 



SOUTHERN VISIONS From the heart of

H.R. Lovell

Upon entering the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art, one look straight ahead at Moses, “The Veteran,” in the distance is enough to become entranced by H.R. Lovell’s astonishing works of realism.

Coming face-to-face with Moses in the main gallery prompts the natural question: Is this a photograph? The answer: It is not a photograph; it is a watercolor.

“Southern Visions,” a showcase of Lovell’s work on display at the museum, is arguably as detailed and rich as images captured by a camera. Knowing each painting was meticulously created stroke by stroke with one man’s hand adds a level of appreciation to the exhibit beyond compare.

The museum’s installation expert, Jim Berryman, met Lovell this past week and was struck by the artist’s humble nature.

“I have tremendous admiration for Mr. Lovell,” Berryman said. “He paints things just because he wants to. He has followed his passion — his muse — and acquired mastery. This is what happens when you devote a life to art.”

Lovell, a Cheatham County, Tennessee, native and lifelong resident, is a self-taught photorealist artist. He realized his talent as a young boy and has painted his whole life but has also continued in his daily walk following the traditions of his family as a farmer and overseer of the town’s water utility department, which his father helped start in 1965.

“He has genius and talent but he is also a pillar in the community,” Berryman said of Lovell. “He’s still out and about doing what it takes to keep a small town going.”

Lovell said his work on the farm and duties with the water department have never hindered his painting.

“I have some artist friends, Charles Frace was one,” Lovell said. “He was one of the top wildlife artists in the world. It was almost like a job to him. He would get up and paint for a certain number of hours each day. I never wanted to do that. I just wanted to do it when I found something I wanted to paint.”

In 1987, Lovell first encountered Moses, who was in his 90s at the time, sitting in front of an old store in Petersburg, Tennessee.

“He was sitting there with the sun shining on his face, and I slammed on the brakes,” Lovell said. “He had an old walking cane and was kind of leaning on it. He was sitting in some old theater chairs. I couldn’t get my eyes off of him.”

For most of his life, Lovell had painted landscape scenes from his everyday life in rural Tennessee. Moses became the first person Lovell ever painted, “The Veteran.”


Maria Cherry Gallery

Maria Cherry


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