Squeakie - Outside/Folk Art
James “Squeakie” Stone was born in Georgetown County, South Carolina, in 1951. He's the son of a sharecropper and nephew of folk artist Henry "Squirrel" Stone. When his uncle suggested he try his hand at painting a picture of a church from a photograph, Squeakie knew he'd found his calling. Since then his paintings have hung in galleries across the southeast and in homes as far away as England.
Squeakie works in acrylics on canvas, tin, and wood, sometimes painting on both sides of whatever surface he's working on. His subject matter includes paintings of barns, log cabins, farm buildings, houses, birds, cotton pickers, tobacco croppers, flower pickers, sweetgrass cutters, seascapes, boats, cooks in the kitchen, and ladies hanging out the week's washing, just to name a few.
“Before I started painting pictures, I painted houses for about thirty years,” says Stone. “I liked painting houses, but after so many years, I found I didn’t like all the driving and being out in the heat and cold all day. After that first painting of the chapel, I just kept painting at night and on weekends... My work painting houses got slack, so I started selling my paintings on the side of the road. One week I made more selling paintings than I did painting houses. I told myself if I did that again the next week I wasn’t going back. I’ve been painting pictures full time ever since.”