JAY SOWERS / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — A customer walks past Clinton B. Driver's “The Natchez” paintingin the lobby of Natchez Water Works on Friday morning. Driver painted “The Natchez” on a screen door that he didn't want to throw away, and he used recycled household materials including lipstick, car paint, shoe polish, fingernail polish and magic markers in stead of regular paints.
JAY SOWERS / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — A customer walks past Clinton B. Driver's “The Natchez” paintingin the lobby of Natchez Water Works on Friday morning. Driver painted “The Natchez” on a screen door that he didn't want to throw away, and he used recycled household materials including lipstick, car paint, shoe polish, fingernail polish and magic markers in stead of regular paints.

Unusual painting donated to Natchez Water Works

Published 12:15am Monday, June 17, 2013

NATCHEZ — An unusual painting hanging at Natchez Water Works’ office not only has a Natchez connection but it also sums up part of the company’s philosophy.

“The Natchez” by the late Clinton B. Driver Sr. of Northport, Ala., was donated to Natchez Water Works by Driver’s family and owners of Tank Pro Inc., a company Natchez Water Works contracted with that specializes in maintenance of elevated water tanks, City Engineer and Natchez Water Works Superintendent David Gardner said.

Motor oil, shoe polish, fingernail polish, lipstick and other household items are not exactly what one would think of for art supplies, but Driver used recycled items to create his paintings. “The Natchez” was painted on a recycled storm door and depicts the Natchez steamboat.

JAY SOWERS / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — The family of the late artist Clinton B. Driver donated his painting of the steamship Natchez to Natchez Water Works earlier this year. Driver painted “The Natchez” on a screen door that he didn't want to throw away, and he used recycled household materials including lipstick, car paint, shoe polish, fingernail polish and magic markers in stead of regular paints.
JAY SOWERS / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — The family of the late artist Clinton B. Driver donated his painting of the steamship Natchez to Natchez Water Works earlier this year. Driver painted “The Natchez” on a screen door that he didn’t want to throw away, and he used recycled household materials including lipstick, car paint, shoe polish, fingernail polish and magic markers in stead of regular paints.

“Mr. Driver really believed in recycling,” Gardner said. “There’s no paint involved; it’s shoe polish and other things. He painted with whatever he could find. It’s even on a old scrap door.”

Many office paintings depict landscapes of faraway places from no-name artists that just fill wall space, so when Natchez Water Works was offered the donation Gardner said he did not hesitate.

“We’re really fortunate to have it because it’s so unique.”

And the recycled material aspect of the painting also matches Natchez Water Works’ efforts to reuse and recycle, Gardner said. For example, he said, Natchez Water Works has been given two awards for its solar-powered greenhouse system at its wastewater treatment plant that turns sewage sludge into organic fertilizer.

“(The painting) absolutely matches what we’re trying to do,” Gardner said.

The painting is a sight to see, Gardner said, and he encourages the public to stop by the office and see it.

“It’s definitely unique to Natchez, and we’re very proud to have it.”