May Arkansas Sketchbook

“Highway 15 Sunset”
Tim Jacob acrylic 2005

Strictly Speaking, they’re crops. Lines converging on the horizon. To drive along those roads, catching rutted glimpses from the lowered driver-side window and the whiffs of grassy sweetness drifting in from the fields, there’s something hypnotic, something familiar—as if you’ve already seen the rural tableau of water tower follows small town follows field follows water tower. You get lost in it. Though in speaking with Tim Jacob, a North Little Rock-based artist who’s been putting the region on canvas for well over a decade, it becomes clear that a closer look can yield something more.

“It’s blue and brown in the winter, and it’s vibrant green in the summer—so just in the seasons, there’s so much change,” he says. “But every crop is different, and every treeline is different as well. And it might look the same, but it’s just as different as a city block. And the way the sun hits every different scene— whether it’s the same scene. One field in the morning is a totally different experience in the afternoon.

“The more you go out there, the more you appreciate it. It’s like seeing a movie five times. You just notice things. The longer you look at a scene, the more you see.”

Be sure to catch Tim’s work beginning at the end of the month at the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, along with the work of Norwood Creech. The exhibition is planned to run through Aug. 25.