My name is J. C. Sikes, and I am Project and Systems Manager at Lakewood where I have worked for 26 years. On my days off, one of the things I enjoy is hunting. I hunt in Matthews County, Virginia with the North End Hunt Club, where I’ve been a member for 30 years. Our Club hunts with dogs, so we generally will go to an area and get on elevated stands prior to the dogs being turned out.
I have hunted since I was a teenager and enjoy going out and listening to the dogs once they get on a track. Even if I don’t see a deer or get a shot, it gets my adrenalin pumping. On a recent hunt, my stand was a high mound that bordered tall mixed woods and a cutover field. A deer came through the cutover with two other deer running ahead of the dogs. I shot the first deer on his left side just as he turned away from me at about 20 yards.
One day the following week, Granville Patrick, a resident of Lakewood, was visiting with several other residents while we were viewing an exhibit of paintings by Lakewood artists. One of the paintings was entitled “Long Shot” and was painted by Mr. Patrick. It was an outdoor scene with a rifleman shooting at a bear from on a hill. As we talked, I showed Mr. Patrick and the other residents a picture of the deer I had recently shot. Mr. Patrick immediately said, “I would like to paint that for you.” I said, “Really,” and he said, “Yes — print a picture for me, and I’ll paint it for you.” I printed the picture, and he started the painting the following week. While he was painting, he and other residents had a good time talking about his progress. It wasn’t long before the painting was finished, and it is fantastic. I think I’ll try to catch a big fish and see if he wants to paint that too.
The story about how Mr. Patrick started painting is interesting. He retired from a law practice at 75 years of age. He was always looking for something to do. One year for a Christmas gift, his wife gave him art lessons at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. He started painting and continued after he became a resident of our Community. At Lakewood, he currently takes classes from well-known local artist Brenda Bickerstaff-Stanley. He meets with the art class every Monday morning in Lakewood’s Creative Arts Center. He finds painting to be totally relaxing and often paints several days a week in addition to his classes.