Woodie Long

Born 1942
Lives Andalusia, AL and North Florida

Woodie Long was one of 12 children born to a sharecropper's family in Florida. The family constantly moved around to find work, and as a boy, Woodie was too busy working in the fields to attend school.
"Hot Summer Day"
Later in life, Woodie wanted to tell his children the story of his life. Since he wasn't very good with words, he took out his wife Dot's watercolors one day, and began to paint. When Dot came home and saw what Woodie had created, she told him, "You're an artist", and since then Woodie has devoted himself to making his wonderfully colorful and lively images.
"New York City"

Woodie's work is tremendously accessible. Everyone I've shown it to falls in love with it. As a result, Woodie has become an extremely successful artist. His works now hang in the Cooperstown Museum, the Menello Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Despite his success, Woodie is probably the most down to earth and friendly person you'll ever meet. He's so enthusiastic and positive that a visit with him is sure to lighten your spirits.
I spent the day with Woodie and Dot at their place in the Florida Panhandle (they also have a house in Andalusia, AL). Woodie delighted in showing me around the place, letting me see all of his wonderful paintings and swapping stories about all the artists who are his friends.

There are so many great stories behind Woodie's work. One of my favorite images is the yellow school bus. When Woodie was a child, he used to see all the other children getting on to this yellow bus every day, and they'd disappear off somewhere while he went to work. Woodie was left to imagine what wonderful place that bus was taking the children. You can still feel that sense of wonder and excitement when Woodie paints a school bus.
"School Bus"
I also love that Woodie paints white and black folks together indiscriminately. For him growing up, he says he didn't know the difference between black and white, they were just people. The happiness and the harmony of Woodie's spirit are evident in such paintings.

Woodie is a real gem. If you go see him, not only will you get some great art, but you'll also get a new best friend.


"Woman & Purse"

Two views of New York City, a collaborative work between Woodie Long and Jimmie Lee Sudduth


Gregory J. Kowalewski
Charlie Lucas