Spotlight on Joe Sheffield, One of 50 Artists featured in Dauphin Island Art Trail, Saturday, October 15th
When visitors converge on Dauphin Island for the 6th Annual Art Trail October 15th, Joe Sheffield will be one of the 50 artists featured.
Sheffield will be set up in front of Mack 'n' dd's Emporium, just past the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo Site. And his works will be familiar to many, not only because he is a well-known artist with his watercolors hanging in many area homes, but also because of the subjects he paints--scenes from the central Gulf Coast and Mobile Bay locales.
Sheffield was born in 1944 in Salinas, Kansas where his father was stationed during the war. In 1946, the family moved to Hollinger's Island and that's when "My love of the water and the coast began," the artist said. "I remember in the early days, Mobile Bay was pristine and an adventure to a kid! Colors took on a special meaning for me," he said.
Sheffield's love of art probably came from his mother, who, he said, "was a wonderful artist who encouraged me to sketch and illustrate anything that interested me."
After high school and college, Sheffield began a 30-year career as a firefighter/paramedic with the Mobile Fire Department. Throughout that time, he kept "a keen interest in artwork, mainly watercolor," and when he retired in 1994, his wife Peggy encouraged him to pursue "what I've enjoyed over our marriage of nearly 50 years," Sheffield said.
Joe Sheffield continues to show his mainly water-related artwork in art shows such as the annual Dauphin Island Art Trail, but he also has a home studio/gallery in Daphne and a studio in Nevada City, California. And his work is widely seen on his Facebook site, www.facebook.com/somethingsouthernart.
Pictured are some of Sheffield's artworks showing scenes from the Gulf Coast area, and including a brief comment by the artist on each of them.
On the Bait Shack picture, Sheffield says that he's been at this old shack on the Bay Causeway more then once, "hoping against hope that live shrimp would be there for one more try for the Speckled trout running in the Fall. All the characters shown are real," he said, "and I've met them hanging around in Autry's Camp over the seasons." The old shed is still there, fully visible from the Bayway, an old reminder that local landmarks are rapidly disappearing from our Gulf Coast.
Delta Camp: A fast-fading scene in all the Delta areas nationally. In their heyday, Delta camps were commonplace, especially in the Mobile River delta. In the painting, the men are gearing up to fill their blinds close by, Sheffield said, adding that "Previous evenings were usually filled with all-night card games and meals prepared by guys who wouldn't think of cooking at home."