This stunning original hand-drawn lithograph is titled Daughters of the South. It is signed at the bottom by the artist Jonathan Green and bears the hand-written notation “PP” which stands for “printer’s proof.” The printer’s name, MoJo Portfolio, is embossed at the bottom of this lithograph.
A “proof” is an impression pulled prior to the printing of the official edition of a lithograph. A “printer’s proof” is a complimentary proof, not part of the numbered edition, that is given to the printer by the artist. There can be multiple printer’s proofs as part of an edition. A printer’s proof is often more valuable than the rest of an edition because typically there are fewer of them and may feature unique qualities when compared to the rest of the edition.
With a hand-drawn lithograph such as this, each color is applied one at a time by hand by the artist and printer. This lithograph, with twenty colors applied using this technique, is printed on Arches paper 270 grs. Because each color is hand-applied, no two of these hand-drawn lithographs are identical; each is essentially a one-of-a-kind original prized by collectors.
Born in 1955 and raised in Gardens Corner, South Carolina, near Beaufort, Green attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he earned a BFA. An African-American painter, he is widely known for his vibrant artworks celebrating the Gullah culture of the African slaves and their descendants in the South Carolina Low Country.
Daughters of the South embodies in beautiful detail two distinctive characteristics of Green’s works in portraying the Gullah Culture: his bold use of color and his portrayal of scenes from everyday life. Here, two women, perhaps mother and daughter, stand alone in the marsh grasses looking out at the horizon where fluffy white clouds meet the sea. One of the women has her arm around the other in a gesture of affection. Their brilliantly colored dresses and hats provide the focus of the scene and contrast with the blue of the ocean, the green of the grasses and the white of the clouds. The image captures an intimate and magical moment, one that is often present in Green’s art, which is why his works are universally appreciated and loved.
Daughters of the South is the cover art chosen for the book GULLAH IMAGES The Art of Jonathan Green printed by the University of South Carolina Press in 1996.