Hellhound Folk Art
W.D. Harden was born and raised in Georgia. He was educated for a career in agronomy, but by the 1980’s found the laboratory work he was doing to be unsatisfying and unfulfilling.
Inspired by both R.A. Miller and Tubby Brown, interesting, earthy,
older folk artists who lived near by, Harden began to paint. When a relative
stumbled on to a stack of his work and praised it, he took a risk and began going
to fairs and sales. Since then he has been quite successful as a self-taught artist.
Harden, a closet musician and traditional blues enthusiast, has been very influenced by
the historic bluesman Robert Johnson and his song, “Got a Hellhound on My Trail”.
The story of Robert Johnson selling his soul to the Devil in exchange for being able to
be the best musician and play guitar like no other man, stalked the rest of his days by
Hellhounds to make sure the Devil collected on the promise, is a biting lesson
to beware of bad bargains, and has been a profound influence on Harden
in developing his signature character, and
he spin off characters in his