Tim says he had a good childhood. He worked very hard on the farm, but he enjoyed life. Tim's favorite hobbies were fishing and hunting. He loved playing with his younger sister. Among Tim's favorite childhood memories are family trips to the Mississippi River.
He had several pets, including more than a few dogs. His favorite was a dog he received for Christmas. Tim named this dog Bark. Bark was more than a dog to Tim; he was a true friend.
Sometimes Tim would paint on wood with his father's house paints. He started painting for fun at a very young age and is still painting today.
Tim went to an all-black school until he was sixteen years old. He was forced to quit high school to help on the farm. Life was hard. After high school, Tim worked for three years helping his father. He also had other side jobs to help bring money into the family.
At the age of nineteen, Tim joined the army. He hoped to fight for his country during World War II, but he was stationed in California and never made it overseas. After serving in the army for four years, Tim came back home for a short stay. He then traveled around the country doing odd jobs for two years, returning home for good at the age of twenty-five.
Tim was married in 1950 and had two children. Tim's new life with his wife and two children was not easy. Tim's mother died in 1951 and his father died a few months later. Tim worked his own farm and worked other odd jobs to make ends meet. Tim's wife died not long after his children graduated from high school. Once Tim's children were old enough, they left home, leaving Tim alone.
In the late 1950s, Tim started painting some memories of his childhood from the 1920s to early '40s. He started doing this because he had no pictures of his youth and he wanted to share his memories.
As time went by, Tim became more isolated. He continued working on his small farm by himself and painting childhood memories in the evenings. Tim doesn't have any photographs of himself and prefers the world to know him through his self-portraits. He no longer lives in the same house he grew up in, but he does still live in Mississippi. He lives alone and fishes, works a little and paints at times. Tim doesn't paint as often as he used to. He says he is quite happy with his life alone. He doesn't have much contact with his two children.
Tim is quite impressed with other black outsider folk artists, such as Sam Doyle and Bill Traylor. He says one of his most surprising moments was the first time he saw a Bill Traylor painting of a dog. He could not believe the similarity between Traylor's dog and his own. He says, "This doesn't make sense, because I never viewed Bill Traylor's work in the past. I can't figure out how two people could paint something so similar." After seeing this, Tim had a newfound respect for other black outsider artists.
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