By Carl Whitehill – When I need a break from work, when I need to step outside of my office, I’m fortunate enough that the Gettysburg battlefield is a stone’s throw away from our parking lot. And because of that, the battlefield has become a place that I go to clear my head – and I think a lot of us who live or visit this town, do the same thing. There’s just something about the park that puts things in perspective.
I rarely leave the office without my camera. I’ve come to learn that you never know what – or who – you may run into.
This week, after wading through a project at the office, I grabbed the camera and headed out the door to take a drive. Having taken so many photographs at the Gettysburg battlefield I even questioned myself on why I even bothered to lug the camera along.
I barely made it a mile on West Confederate Avenue before running into Corey Fou Chong. Despite my abrupt stop in my car and hurried walk across the road, he took absolutely no notice of me. He was focused heavily on the landscape before him – the slightly rolling terrain of Pickett’s Charge, looking out toward the landmark Codori Barn.
And he’s in Gettysburg this time as part of the Gettysburg Fest’s Plein Air Art Exhibit, where artists from around the region scatter about the Gettysburg community painting scenes of this beautiful town and countryside. It’s part of a wide range of performances, exhibits, and events that run from June 11-15, 2014.
I took dozens of photos of Corey. I watched as he peered out over the stone wall, through the trees and out into the field. It always amazes me how an artist studies the scene, absorbs it, and then puts the paint to canvas – all in a matter of seconds.
Corey is one of many artists I’ve seen around Gettysburg – many of them over the years, through the Plein Air Art Exhibit. Instead of capturing memories with their smartphones or digital cameras – they paint their images of Gettysburg on canvas.
People often describe the battlefield in majestic ways, almost holy-like. This town is something at which to marvel. Some might say it’s a scene straight out of a painting.
About the author:
A resident of Adams County, Pa., for seven years, Carl is still finding nooks and crannies of the Gettysburg countryside to tire out his two young – and energetic – boys. Always on the search for ways to keep his crazy family active and adventurous, Carl prefers to lace up his hiking boots over firing up the car for a ride, but opts for going out for ice cream over a cold beer any day. He lives in Littlestown, Pa., with his wife, Kim, and sons – Colin and Christian.