If abandoned, rusty cars could talk, what would they say?

If abandoned, rusty cars could talk, what would they say?

This nagging question drove watercolorist Gerilyn Gaskill to create her new "Hidden Treasures in the Woods" exhibit, an ongoing display at the Upper Crust in Georgetown that runs through Sept. 7.

"Hidden Treasures" is a body of work that mostly pays tribute to vintage cars that have been forsaken in places like the woods, on the side of the roads or even rides that have been hauled away to the big junkyard in the sky. Gaskill has immortalized these deserted cars on canvas, while imagining what these hunks of junk are thinking about, why they got left behind and how fabulous these rides were in their heyday.

A model example of this is the painting "Old Mountain Ford." It's of a vintage Ford pickup from about the 1950s (think Lamont and Fred Sanford's ride in "Sanford and Son") that's been abandoned in a cornfield near a plow. The car is saying to itself, "My people went home for dinner," explained Gaskill, of Georgetown. "[They're] just taking a while to get back and finish the plowing."

There's also "Curbside Parking," featuring an eroded, powdered blue Volkswagen Beetle from the 1960s that's parked in the woods.

"I saw an old VW bug all rusted out," Gaskill said. "But you know back in the day some young adults had that hot [ride]."

Gaskill's fascination for finding these old gems, most of which she spots on U.S. Route 13 and in random woods, started years ago when she began photographing deserted cars for fun.

A few months before she retired from nursing in 2008, Gaskill got into watercoloring. That's when she began recreating her photos of worn automobiles onto canvas.

In addition to painting images of cars, Gaskill is also attracted to painting other things including fruit. Two of her seven paintings in her "Hidden Treasures" exhibit are of fruit.

Now that she's retired, Gaskill has immersed herself in the Sussex County arts scene. She's become a member of the Millsboro Art League, Milton Arts Guild, Mispillion Art League and Rehoboth Art League. Outside of Sussex, Gaskill is also a member of the Art League of Ocean City, Md.

In only four years, Gaskill has won multiple painting awards. Her most recent came in July, winning the Art League of Ocean City's Beverly Bassford Memorial Award for "A Lifetime of Memories." The piece depicted her mother's bedroom mantel – a lasting memory for Gaskill.

Gaskill has made a good living as a nurse, but she says painting is indeed her true calling. And she's going to ride this new career until the wheels walls fall off.

"I always wanted to be an artist," said the 59-year-old. "Now I'm living my dream."


WHAT "Hidden Treasures in the Woods" exhibit by Gerilyn Gaskill

WHEN Gallery hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday through Friday; 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday (painting exhibition ends this Saturday; exhibit ends Sept. 7)

WHERE Upper Crust, 7 E. Market St., Georgetown


INFO theuppercrust.info or call 856-2300