Maria Cherry Gallery - Scrap Book Photos II
Maria Cherry Gallery - Company Message
Our friend, Ken Harvey in his days as guitar player in Bobby Vee's band.  Ken has a long list
 of singers and musicians he's played with such as Bobby Keys (Rolling Stones) Brian Hiland,  Gene Pitney , Dottie West, Kenny Rogers and a long list of others.  Ken has been
coming into the gallery since we opened in 1998.  Maria and I feel lucky to have Ken as a friend
and also Ken makes a mean pot of chili.....seasoned to your preference!  What a guy!
       Our  friend, Tricia Cast, whom most everyone recognizes as "Nina" on the tv
            soap opera  "The Young and The Restless".  I met Tricia a few years ago when
           she and her  husband, Bat McGrath,  moved to Tennessee.  They  li ve right
           over the hill from me on what was once part of my great  great grandfather's farm.....
           which can be seen in my paintings around the Allen House.   They visit Lakeview
           market, the little country store my cousin runs, quiet often when they are on the
           farm and not filming in L.A.   Bat is a great songwriter and musician with some great
           hits.  Tricia and Bat are great friends and have made frequent visits to our gallery
           in Charlotte..........always inquiring on what I'm painting on at the time.   We have a lot
            in common that we both like Vanderbilt athletics and get together when we can to
           catch a game live or on t.v.  Tricia makes a great bowl of chili.  It was day
           a couple of years back, Tricia and  Bat were at the gallery when some other visitors
           were there............right after they left, one lady said ......"that girl looks just like the one
           who plays Nina on the Young and Restless"    we got a big laugh out of that and
            told the lady that it was her........she liked to have fainted!!  
            UPdate  5/11/2011  Just received an email from Bat..... Tricia just received an
              EMMY  nomination as BestSupporting Actress for her role as "Nina"
             Way to go Tricia!!     As Bat said ......" not bad for a Tennessee girl who grows
              the best tomatoes in Cheatham County!"
                                                                                 Randy Travis
           I met Randy back in the late 1980's.  He had bought a couple of my early prints
            and I was comissioned to paint his log home which was about 10 miles from my
            home in Cheatham county.  He also came to Lakeview Market often and had
             some country cooking.  I was invited to his Christmas party where he gave me
             a special edition jacket which he presented to his band and crew commemorating
             his world tour.  Randy is a real down to earth person and will always sit down
             and talk .   He sold his house in Cheatham county........but still might have some
             property interest here.  I know he was real proud that he had a horse he had
             gotten from Roy Rogers that was a direct decendent of Trigger.   He had
             quiet a collection of Roy Rogers memorabilia.  I also have a a couple of signed
             albums he gave me which I'm quiet proud with the hit "Digging up Bones".
             One of my favorites.     
                                                                             "Mel Tillis"
            I met Mel in about 1985, when a former band member who had a farm nearby
                wanted to show him some of my artwork.  I had been painting about six years
                at the time and was getting ready to set a show up at the Dillingham Gallery
                in Nashville.   I had taken all the paintings to the gallery and had them sitting
                 around on the floor ready to be hung.  Knowing Mel wasn't going to be in
                town long............I went back and retrieved the paintings from Dillinghams.  I
                took them to Mel's farm ......which was only a few miles from mine, where he was
                getting ready to build a new log home.  After meeting him and bringing the
                paintings in............he said   "I want them all".   That was easy enough.  I was pretty
               stoked about that.........but I had to call Dillingham Gallery and tell them that
               I wouldn't be bringing them they had to cancel the show.   Mel and his
                wife Judy became good friends over the next few years.  Mel comissioned me
                to paint his new log home.  I did this even before it was finished as he wanted it
                for his open house.  He told me what the windows and fence was going to look
               like so I painted them in sight unseen.  A couple of years later he comissioned
               me to paint a portrait of Burl Ives, whom he was doing a movie with called
               "Uphill All The Way".   He called me at 2am in the morning and asked me what
                I was doing............I told them that actually I was asleep.   He then asked me if I
              could come down to the house.............I replied that I would be there first thing in
             morning.   He said " I really need you to come now, I have something I want to show
               you."   So I headed to Mel's at about 2:15am.  After arriving he gave me a photo
              of Burl and said   "Can you paint this?"  I replied and said I was pretty sure that I
              could.   His next question  "Can you paint it in four days?"   I told him I would give
              it my best but with no guarantees.   This on an early Monday morning and they          
              were leaving on Thursday of the same week.   I got back home around 4:00 am and
               sketched it out.  Not knowing if I had the likeness exactly right, I drove it down to
              Lakeview Market which opened at 5:00 am , and asked my cousin, the owner, who
             the sketch looked like.........he said "It's either Santa Clause or Burl Ives."   that was
             all I needed to hear.   I went home, worked day and night and finished the painting
            and had it framed by that Thursday moring.   Mel was excited.  It was a gift to Burl.
            Burl called me a few days later and told me it was the best portrait ever done of him.
             I will post the portrait of him on the site as soon as I can find a slide I took of it when
             painted.   All the originals except one burnt up when Mel's house caught fire and
           burned to the ground a few years later.  I do have a few crude photos of some of them.
            Mel was a good friend and ifI needed to borrow a painting, Judy and he were always
            willing to let me keep them as long as needed.   When interviewed by the news right
             after the fire Mel mentioned that he had managed to get two ofhis most important
            possesions out.........a fiddle given to him by one of the founders of the Grand Ole
           Opry and a copy of the Burl Ives painting I had given him.  While visiting his home
             one day, I gave Judy a copy of my latest painting which was "The Veteran".  An
            8 x 10 framed copy, Judy sat it on top of the refrigerator.   When Mel came home
            off the road in the early morning hours..........he woke Judy up saying "Is that one of
           Harold's paintings?"    She replied it was and I had just dropped it off that day.   He
            told her to "Call Harold tomorrow and buy it........don' t come home without it."   Judy
           did call me the next day and repeated the above.   I told her it wasn't for sale as I had
            just finished it and might want to show it some as I thought it was a pretty special
           painting.   She said "You know Mel's gonna kill me if I don't bring it home!"   We got
          a good laugh out of that.  He bought more paintings over the years but I still have
           "The Veteran"    it just was'nt the time.........I knew it was my best and probably still is.
                                                                                     "Burl Ives"
                          This is a portrait of Burl Ives I did for Mel Tillis back in the late 1980's.
                   The story of how it come about is in the above text under about Mel.
                            Basically I did it for Mel while he and Burl were in Texas filming the movie
                            "Uphill All The Way".    He presented it to Burl as a gift while the filming
                            was in progress.  I never met Burl, but he did call me soon after recieving
                            the painting and told  me it was the best portrait ever done of him.  I was
                            flattered.  I did the painting working day and night to meet a deadline, in
                            four days.  I don't think I've ever painted anything that quick since then.
                            It was just one of those paintings that everything just worked......didn't
                            spend a lot of time erasing and redrawing on this one.  I retreived this image
                           from an old slide , and the only slide that exist from the painting.   This in
                           a time before digital imaging........and for the most part, if there wasn't a
                           photo or slide made,  I didn't keep any records of some of my earliest
                                           The greatest thing about being an artist is all the people
                                I've met over the years.   This is John Wayne's eldest son
                                            Micheal.   I met him at the Colors Of The Heartland art
                                            show back in 1984, in St. Paul , Minnesota.  He purchased
                                            a print from me and when I asked him if he would mind me
                                             getting a picture taken with him.......his reply was "Sure thing, fella"
                                             sounded just like his dad!  I felt like I was in a western movie!
                                     Back a few years ago.......a couple walked in the gallery in 
                              Charlotte.   She introduced herself as Dee Eddy and her
                                        husband, Duane.   My head was rolling and I finally said to
                                         her ...."There used to be a pretty good guitar player with
                                        that name".     She replied   "You just shook his hand".  I was
                                         in shock............Duane Eddy had been my teenage idol since
                                         his early days on American Bandstand.  He is one of the
                                         greatest guitar players of all times.  He was inducted into the
                                         Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.   A lot of his songs were
                                         used years later in the movie Forrest Gump.   I wanted his
                                         autograph so I picked up the first thing I could find which was a
                                         pencil study of the soon to be watercolor "Apples".  They
                                        stayed an hour or two and we sat on the gallery porch in our
                                       rockers and talked early rock and roll history and what he had
                                        been doing in his later years.  I cherish that autograph as much
                                        as anything I own.  What a day!
        I  am really proud of this letter from Mario Pasin, then owner of the Radio Flyer company.
       You have that feeling of satisfaction when someone tells you that you've captured what
         they are looking for in a painting.  Mario turned the company over to his sons a few years
         ago but is still inivolved in the operations.  I really treasure this letter and decided to
        share it on the scrapbook page.   The painting he was regarding  to was "Traditions".
         The "Best Friend"  painting he mentioned was a painting of my old Radio Special
           wagon I had when I was a kid.  I painted it back in the early 1980's and Leaning Tree
          Greeting Card Company published it as a greeting card.   Someone sent Mario a
         card with that  image on it and he contacted me and that's the way the updated version
         called "Traditions" with their model 20 wagon came about.
                                               Especially proud of this box of Wheaties!  I had the
                                   opportunity to paint a portrait of her son, Tyler a few
                                                years ago.  Pat is a fellow Cheatham County native
                                                and the winningest college basketball coach of all
                                                times .     In my younger days I played a lot of basketball
                                                with and against her brothers ......they were all great
                                                 players, too.   Her brother, Tommy, was an all OVC
                                                 player at Austin Peay State University and I think
                                                 still holds the all-time rebounding record in the conference.                      
                          While looking through some old photos,  I found this painting  I did
                    back in 1978.   It is one of the probably less than 20 paintings that I
                           do not know the whereabouts or who owns them.   It was one of the
                           paintings that sold at the show with R.C. Gorman back in 1980.  I do
                          believe the people who bought it lived in California.  So if anyone
                          recognizes this painting,  please get in touch....would like to hear from you.
                          The title of the painting was "Clinards Crib" .  It was the old corn crib
                            on my neigbor's farm, Mr. Clinard. ....which actually was part of my
                            dad's old home place.  It was one of the first watercolors I ever did.
                           To the best of my knowledge, the photo is pretty accurate in color
                           and is the only photo of it that I know exist.   When Gorman's gallery
                            changed  hands in the later years, the records of who bought the
                            paintings I sold there got lost. 
                        Another photo I found of my old dragster  "Rat Patrol"   named after
                    the big block chevy engines which were referred to as rat motors.   I fell in
                          love with the 427 aluminum block chevy engine that was in the Paul Newman
                          can-am  car that I painted the numbers I purchased one for this
                         car, too.  It was almost ready for the strip when this photo was taken.....only
                         a few minor additions more....such as radiator shell and parachute.  Also had
                          a GMC 671 blower that could be added to make it run in the AA/A class.
                    Sure do miss those days......although the sale of it financed the first three
                          four-color prints of my I guess it turned out for the best.   Until
                          this day I still don't remember why I sold it other than to concentrate on
                          my art more.....I built the car from the ground up and it did take almost all
                          of my time in those years.
                        These are the work horses of Janice and Rose's dad, Tim.  He had them
                          hitched under the Maple tree on our last visit there.  Under the tree in the
                         shade lies their German shepard dog, King.  Wouldn't be surprised if this
                          don't turn into a watercolor in the near future.!   The Menonites take great
                          care of their farm aninmals, starting young like Janice and Rose.  These
                           particular horses are beautiful!
                              Another view inside the Maria Cherry Gallery with the "Allen House"
                      (from the Horner Collection)  hanging in the background.  The painting
                               is about 6 ft long.......largest watercolor I ever did.
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