Corkern's sketches of life in Bluffton made into book

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Some years ago, when I first opened my frame shop and gallery in my current location, I had a wonderful lady, Lynne Reese, working for me.

She was a bright light, filled with joy and wisdom. She worked some at Home Depot and some with me at Four Corners.

She would come in and tell of meeting Doug and Jean Corkern and how delightful they were, and how she was helping them with things at the Home Depot.

The Corkerns had moved to Bluffton from Hilton Head where Doug had quite a career in architecture. He was highly sought-after for his home design skills.

Now, he was retired and having fun cruising around Bluffton, sketching whatever his eyes would see that day, including old structures, neighbors, dogs and trees.

One day, after Lynne had followed Doug home to his studio, she came back in to work beaming with her report on how Doug had absolutely captured Bluffton in his sketches.

Lynne told me I needed to go talk to and meet with Doug and have his work at the gallery. So I did.

Lynne was quite obviously right.

Doug and Jean were, of course, most delightful and we agreed his sketches needed to be framed and displayed in the gallery - both for those new folks moving here to get into the Bluffton mindset, and for those long-time residents who wanted to remember the structures and people who made Bluffton what it is.

Doug is a prolific artist. His life is drawing the things he sees through an artist's eye that the rest of us don't see.

At the gallery, the best part of our day is when he comes for a visit to check up on us.

Each time, Doug will lay down another handful of sketches of his latest vision.

As the time has marched on, I have grown more and more fond of Doug's works, having held a number of shows featuring his drawings.

Last year, Doug was voted Bluffton's first artist of the year at the Bluffton Chamber Ball. All of the other artists wanted him to win, of course, and he did.

There are so few folks who can take in all of what Bluffton has to offer and preserve what was and what is.

Doug is what Bluffton is: kind, caring, seeking knowledge, seeking friendship and "loving thy neighbor."

He has given so much to our little community and now he is giving us more.

Doug is printing a book of "Bluffton Sketches." These are a mix of pieces directly out of his sketchbook - the one that you see Doug carrying around town.

Four Corners will show the originals and host a book release party from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8. We are located at 1263 May River Road. Refreshments will be served.

All are invited to come out to help us celebrate Bluffton and Doug's works, capturing our little town as life goes on.

Charlene Gardner is the owner of Four Corners Art Gallery. www.fourcorners gallerybluffton.com

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