Madison County artist Perry McCrackin had to cater to a different kind of audience this time — one motoring by at 60 miles per hour.
McCrackin’s “Peppermint Float” painting was one of five entries winning an Athens billboard spot in the Lyndon House’s “Art in the Air” contest.
Over 40 artists entered.
McCrackin, 49, opted for the peppermint theme because it offered the contrast needed for the limited viewing window of highway speedsters.
“When you drive by a billboard at 50-60-70 miles per hour, you have to be able to look at it and know what it is,” he explained.
The painting is now seen through the windshields of hundreds daily on a billboard just north of Athens on Hwy. 441.
McCrackin, who has lived near Danielsville for 10 years, said the painting will rotate to different billboard locations throughout the year.
Right now, “Peppermint Float” isn’t placed in his normal route of travel. McCrackin works at Normal Town Salon in Athens and commutes in on Hwy. 29.
But others have taken notice.
“Everybody likes the peppermint,” McCrackin said. “There’s a few people who have seen them in the evening. They say it looks really good at night.”
Of the five winners, this Marine-turned-hairstylist is the only artist with no formal training.
The other four held art degrees in various disciplines. McCrackin says he’s predominantly self-taught, painting off-and-on when he was younger, before quitting to serve a four-year stint in the Marine Corps.
However, he’s re-intensified his efforts in the last five to six years and is focusing on portrait art currently.
Though he’s earned highway-traffic notoriety with “Peppermint Float,” McCrackin says he’s not resting on his laurels.
“You’re only as good as your last painting,” he said.