County Road 12 - Lighter Artist

After 30 years as a working artist, Larry Strickland may finally have stumbled onto his true calling. He's dabbled in practically every medium. But this is one, they don't teach in art school. Debbie Williams caught up with him somewhere out along County Road12.

In a back yard, "This piece may have 500 small pieces of lighter in it.", that looks more like a lumber yard. "I take different knots and different shapes.", Larry Strickland makes his living. One look at his work and something looks familiar. "Most of this is lighter." Wait a minute, he uses the same thing we start our fires with? "This was one piece of heart pine it was a stump in a clay bank." That's right, he's been using old pine stumps and lighter knots exclusively the last few years. He says it's something that just seems to come naturally.  "Woodworking has been a part of our family all through the generations, mostly carpenters. So I have an affinity to wood and having access to this free form wood it kind of let loose in me this natural woodworker. How many people are riding down a dirt road and they find a pair of angel wings?"

Larry remembers playing around here when he was a child. Now he's playing here again, only the game has changed. "They kind of speak to me, the pieces. I will see a part of a torso or part of a figure and will work with it until I feel like it's where I want to stop he's parlayed that vision not only into a yard full of pieces in progress, but into a gallery full of remarkable art. "I've learned a lot from this wood. It's taught me a lot. I've learned to leave the wood alone. I've learned to find it and appreciate the beauty of it and work just enough to bring out what I'm seeing in it." With what Larry Strickland see in a piece of wood, you might think twice about starting your next fire with kindling that could just be, a work of art.

In Florala, Debbie Williams, along with photojournalist Darren Gilley, somewhere out along County Road 12.