• Shown is an oil painting by Stephanie Amato titled, "Camp Canoes," on display and for sale at the Burton Gallery in Clarkesville.
  • Shown are paintings of bears by Susan Burns on display and on sale at Timpson Creek Gallery in Rabun County. Burns, who is known worldwide, "has a much more contemporary look" and her work is "extremely popular," Timpson Creek Gallery owner Cecil Thompson says.

Lake House Art: An eclectic mix

Lake Living - Winter 2018

Lake house decor is as individual and personal as the lake house owner, and what used to be considered "traditional" lake house art -- lake scenes, canoes and wildlife -- is just one piece of the character of the home.

Whether you're doing a full redecoration or just adding pieces to your lake house collection, North Georgia has a plethora of artists and art galleries to choose from.

One of those is Burton Gallery, 150 Burton Dam Road, Clarkesville, owned and managed by Marlene Eck for 14 years.

Eck said people frequently come in and ask for a specific type of art to fit in a specific space for their lake homes.

"You don't have to go to Atlanta to find art to decorate your lake house," Eck said. "Whether you want rustic furniture, bear art, fine art landscapes, or folk art, the area is filled with artists and art to furnish your lake house."

Eck recommends Main Street Gallery in Clayton as specialists in folk art. According to mainstreetgallery.com, the gallery was established in 1985, and "specializes in self-taught art, also known as contemporary folk art, outsider, visionary or vernacular art."

Timpson Creek Gallery, located at 7142 Highway 76 West, Clayton, has been owned and managed by Cecil Thompson for 36 years. Her husband, Dwayne Thompson, is a master-craftsman who creates furniture which is sold in the gallery.

Cecil Thompson said she never recommends art to her clients, because, she said, "I'm a firm believer that you buy art because it makes you happy, because it makes you feel good."

She said, while she sells what is considered "traditional lake house art," today's lake house owner usually wants an eclectic mix, focusing on the more contemporary pieces.

Timpson Creek sells that "eclectic mix," including traditional work. The gallery has sold work by Libby Matthews for about 26 years. Cecil Thompson said Matthews is "the first person who started painting red canoes." 

"There's no traditional lake look anymore," Cecil Thompson said. "The younger people moving in are going more contemporary. They're using a lot of mid-century and industrial kind of looks. ... And, of course, a red canoe is a great pop of color."

Timpson Creek also features art by Susan Burns, the 2015 Kentucky Derby artist, who has a "much more contemporary look," Cecil Thompson said.

"I've been here for 36 years, and I've seen trends come and go," she said. "Right now, the trend is sleeker and more contemporary. I have beautiful landscapes of Lake Burton also, but I'm seeing more sophisticated paintings sold."

Eck agrees.

"People want more contemporary art," Eck said. "'Eclectic' is a good word. You can have fine art, but people like to mix it up and use folk art, too. It's really more about personal preference."

Eck also heads up the Northeast Georgia Arts Tour, which is held twice a year in early June and early November and is a tour of 10 local galleries.

While the art tour is only twice per year, brochures are always available. For more information about the Northeast Georgia Arts Tour, including gallery locations, visit artstour.org.

Northeast Georgian

Mailing Address:
2440 Old Athens Hwy
Cornelia, GA 30531

Phone: 706-778-4215
Fax: 706-778-4114