Graydon McKoy is a nine-year-old boy finishing third grade, and is in his first year of home schooling. He lives with his parents on Wadmalaw Island in South Carolina, a very rural island with a farm rich history located in Charleston County. Graydon’s father, one of the few farmers left on the island, grew up farming with his father. Graydon’s mother has an advanced degree in biology but is now using her knowledge to home school the budding artist. With the background both of his parents have to offer, it is no surprise that Graydon loves the outdoors and every creature that inhabits it.
Since he was very little Graydon has loved books about nature and enjoyed taking walks to observe God’s creatures, no matter where, or how slimy they were.
In addition to searching for wildlife, Graydon cares for three horses, one German Shepherd and a cat, but what he really wants is a snake. His mother has not yet consented to that request, but they have spent the last three summers documenting the snakes they find on their farm. To date they have spotted over 13 species of snakes and look forward to participating in the annual springtime snake round-up that the local serpentarium conducts.
Graydon’s art began at the young age of four, and highlighted the favorites of all little boys: sharks, alligators, dinosaurs and snakes. Thanks to a great art teacher from first grade, his talent was cultivated and his horizons expanded with the love for animals remaining as the main theme in all of his work.
In a span of just three years, Graydon has developed quite a portfolio, which his mother has saved, and scanned onto computer discs. His talent was put to use this year when Graydon’s family decided to go on a mission trip with their church to Costa Rica. They did not have all of the funding needed to pay their way, so his mother had an idea to use Graydon’s art work as a fund raiser.
She took some of his pieces that had been scanned and then put them on her computer and converted them into note cards. The cards sold really well, and not only raised enough money to pay for all of them to go to Costa Rica, but, also raised enough to pay for a home school trip afterwards.
As a result of this success, Graydon now has his very own business and calls it “Graydon’s Critters”. He is working on two new series; one focusing on Charleston and one highlighting the fish served at a local seafood restaurant. He continues to practice with mediums such as chalk, watercolors and oil pastels, but is expanding to acrylics and looks forward to learning how to mat his own work.
To see Graydon’s portfolio, visit his website – www.graydonscritters.com. You’ll also find Graydon’s Critters on Facebook.