Game Of Checkers
Afternoon Checkers Artist, William Mack Tolliver,
(from 1951 – 2000) from
"I could draw on a lot
of sad and depressing things in my life, but I'd rather
emphasize the positive."
~ Afternoon Checkers Art ~
His oil paintings and lithographs depict motifs
of the land, of simple people at work or at
leisure or images of daily life in a powerful
and moving afternoon checkers art style that
is both versatile and refreshingly exuberant.
- Tolliver’s stylized art uniquely
combines the compositional principles
of Cézanne, the color of Chagall
and the forms and mood of Picasso and Modigliani.
- His afternoon checkers artwork was also
a framework wherein he could convey his
true subject, which was his joy in working
with color, shapes, textures, line and
- Tolliver emerged as a brilliant, self
taught artist, who was called, a Mississippi
born Renaissance man, with a creative intelligence
that combined the study of formal structure
with an innate sense of human observation
- During the mid 1980s, he was recognized
as a brilliant regional talent, who stressed
that art was a means for documenting one's
history and as such, his afternoon checkers
art expression was driven by a desire to
capture the landscapes and people of his
native deep South so that in his concern
for thematic content, this outlook inspired
him to capture scenes of rural black southern
life. Playing on a checkers afternoon,
checkers art was on his mind. In works
that have included themes of cotton pickers,
stevedores, families playing checkers,
children fishing and women tending the
earth by hoe.
- His themes were diverse and whether dealing
with everyday workers in the afternoon or back alley jazzmen,
they conveyed a universal message through
scenes of the common human experience,
as seen by his painting of a relaxed game
of afternoon checkers.
- Tolliver was an artist of insight and
natural ability and his works, though plaintive
in mood deliver an artistic message that
is spiritually uplifting and imbued with
unique expression that came from deep within
his creative soul.
~ Make Your Checkers Move ~
By Joseph Deweese Holston
(1944 - to present day)
from Washington, DC.
is like writing a play. Every piece is intended
to establish a dialogue between me and the
viewer. I want the characters in my work to
engage viewers so completely that they are
drawn into and become a part of each individual
- Holston’s fine art career has spanned
the latter part of the 20th and into the
- Largely a self taught painter, printmaker
and graphic artist, who finds artistic
expression in a abstract cubist style that
is imbued with color to enhance the various
- His artistic endeavors display a talent
in charcoal sketching, mixed media and
- Holston did also pursue formal training
in Washington, which has helped the artist
to develop a unique, modern style that is
characterized by his careful attention to
detail, form, line and composition.
- Joseph Holston's paintings do not tell
a complete story but rather merely suggest
a narrative, an experience or a drama,
wherein the viewer is invited to become
emotionally or even spiritually involved.
- His works are executed by painting simple,
uncluttered shapes that reduce and refined
the subjects to basic forms and figures
so that his viewers become so interwoven
in the art that the line between where
the viewer ends and the art begins no longer
- Holston’s motifs also represent
the daily life of black culture in America
as is depicted in the simple theme of a
pleasant game of afternoon checkers.
~ Checker Players ~
By Roger Witmer
(1944 to present day)
"I've been painting
or drawing as long as I can remember."
A Canadian artist with an exceptional talent
to create heartwarming scenes with oils and
a small brush.
- His artistic style is that of Impressionistic
realism, where the motifs capture the
essence and traditions of his native province,
from the Amish countryside of southern
Ontario to northern landscapes of lush,
beautiful forests and colorful lakes and rivers.
- Some of the artistic scenes represent
nostalgic memories for those growing up
playing afternoon checkers in the 1950's.
- Witmer’s oil paintings are quite
distinctive in their simple depiction
of the local heritage and rural life encompassing
the Waterloo/Kitchener region, and give
the viewer a real sense of daily life in
- Many of his rural scenes depict settings
with horses and Mennonite families and
their activities, and are represented by
clarity of composition, simple lines and
- The simplicity and pleasure of life is
displayed in the painting above that shows
an old fashioned game of checkers being
enjoyed by players in front of an old stove
in the country general store.
- Some of Witmer’s work also depicts
old local buildings, inspired by an interest
in architecture and often these structures
add a distinct structure to the motif.
~ Afternoon Checker Players ~
By Dennis Deitz, Country Illustrations and Portraits.
- This illustration also reflects a simple
image of an every day motif of a young
boy enjoying quality time in a game of
checkers with his grandfather.
- The viewer’s focus is drawn to the
oversized checkerboard and the atmosphere
of the moment represented by the concentration
displayed by both afternoon checkers players.
- Realism is clearly defined by the detailing
of the characters and surrounding setting,
so much so that this drawing could easily
be an artistic rendering of an actual photograph
taken showing a leisurely checkers game.
A game of checkers was also a popular motif
for sculpture, as seen in the work of 19th
century American sculptor, John Rogers and
later, in a couple of modern renditions of
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