As new housing goes up, old barns come down. Are the old structures a cliché subject for painters or can askilled artist can find something fresh to say?
My friend and artist extraordinaire, Marianne Miller, is a country girl at heart who loves old barns and farm houses. She’s a dedicated scout who travels the county roads looking for great scenery and structures, calculating where we could park, and deciding on the best lighting. We have had some interesting experiences this summer on the backroads of Knox, Fairfield and Licking Counties.
I have learned a lot from painting with Marianne, (after I got over being awestruck by her talent). She doesn’t look so much at a particular subject, but the angles, shapes, sunlight and shadows. It works because she comes up with outstanding paintings time after time. She’s focused and she’s fast. I haven’t included any of her paintings here, but you can see her award winning painting at the American Impressionist Society.
Here are some of the scenes I’ve painted on our outings – a bit more limited in nuance than hers, but a whole lot of fun. There’s no place I’d rather be than the middle of a field!
We tried to ask permission to paint on the property above but no one answered the door. So we ended up painting from the edge of the road. As you can see, this barn got a make-over back at home. I exaggerated its flaws/charms.
I painted this sycamore tree at Rustling Brook Farm and then painted it again weeks later. It’s good practice to redo a scene. I went with a horizontal format and decided the tree should be the star of the show instead of the house.
Here’s the brook at Rustling Brook. I will paint the barns there eventually. The owner is almost 90 and he is so gracious when we come there to paint. He’s also an expert on the local history.
I did the two paintings below from photos I took on our trip to Branstool’s Orchard with a stop at the Old Mill in Utica for ice cream ( justifiable ice cream because we ate some healthy apples first). These were both painted in a workshop with Sean Wang, another artist I really respect.
One last barnstorming painting which was painted earlier in the summer with a larger group of barnstormers including, Sean, Rich Clem and Diana Andrews.
The weather is getting cooler but the barnstorming will continue!