Kim Carlton

Represented Exclusively by RS Hanna Gallery.

Behind the Lines

Behind the Lines

Oil on linen, 16x20

The 3rd Texas Cavalry Regiment performs Civil War Reenactments but also allows a slice of life from the mid-1800's.   All members are required to be absolutely authentic in their dress and accoutrements, not allowed to wear Nikes or drink from Ozarka water bottles, talk on cell phones or shoot pictures with a digital camera.   Even the children are dressed in period clothing and drink water from glass bottles, eating not Fritos but hardboiled eggs and oranges; it's terribly cool.

The soldiers and camp-following families stay in real canvas tents and cook over open fires, living in the past even without an audience.   This soldier, whose name is Gordon, was patrolling the grounds before the battlefield action began, ensuring all was well.   In the piece, I tried to show how the trees provided a canopy of protection from the sun overhead and the guard was also a lateral barrier of protection surrounding the families.   To emphasize this, I allowed the camp to be completely exposed, visually, to the sun, and then tried to imply a shadow-wall around them, the soldier symbolizing the barrier between the vulnerable camp and any danger.   Only one person in the camp even makes eye contact with the guard, so secure are they.   In the same way that the wagons used to form a circle around the camp, I want the viewer to feel that there is a circle of safety around this camp, enforced by the camp guard.

Behind the Lines - detail