Sunday, July 30, 2017
The Hay-wagons Don't Come Here Anymore
An original casein painting, on illustration board
11 X 14 inches
This painting is in a private collection now
( click on image to enlarge )
My last posting on this blog. was about a casein painting ( Racing The Hoop ),
and while I was looking at it again I was reminded of other paintings in the files, which
were done in that medium, that I still enjoy using, and which I should use more often.
I have not seen this painting for years. The photo above was a snapshot which was
emailed to me a couple of years ago, so the photographic quality is low, including some
light-reflections in the image. However it was interesting to see the picture again. The
painting seems to have held up fairly well over the years, but it could use restoration
touches in some areas. Perhaps I should have used a bit more protective varnish on
the painting, or else had it framed it under glass.
The subject of the painting was an old barn which I used in a number of different
paintings, in a variety of different mediums. Looking back through this blog, I see that
I have previously posted a picture of one of those paintings, done in transparent water-
colors, as a winter landscape, when the old barn was dressed in snow. That painting
was called Awaiting The Thaw, and it may still be available, but I would have to check
to make sure.
That old barn represented a period in America which we all tend to look back on
with a good deal of nostalgia, the time when our country was still an agrarian society,
with millions of small, subsistence farms. In those days the barn would have been
echoing with the sounds of horses and squeaking wagon-wheels, as the farmer and
his sons filled the loft with loose hay, to provide winter fodder for their livestock.
Those days are long gone now. Even as far back as the late 1950's and early
1960's, when I painted that old barn, it was no longer in use, as its builders designed
it to be used. Horses and horse-drawn farm-implements were things of the past,
and the tractors which replaced horse-power, often did not find accommodations
in old barns. The small, family farms were already being absorbed into the large,
mono-culture agriculture businesses we have today.
The barn was destined to be demolished and the surrounding land redeveloped
by an expanding university. Nothing ever stays the same, of course. Change is
inevitable, but I am often left with the question of whether or not some of our
redevelopments are actually true improvements.