This is the second in a series of pieces inspired by a decaying, abandoned farm a few miles from here. The property is marked with very visible “No Trespassing” signs, but there are so many different views, perspectives, and angles created by the barns and farmhouse positions to each other, I had to take the risk. Loved the old road bisecting the property, and disappearing to nowhere as it enters the back meadow. “Divergence” 48 x 24 o/c
This old farmhouse is a few miles down the road, slowly decaying on a coveted piece of land along one of our state routes that runs east/west from Keene, to the Monadnocks, ending at the Seacoast. A growing retail highway. It’s classification as a working farm is likely to soon be re-zoned commercial. I recently drove past the “no trespassing” signs on two huge oaks that flank the dirt driveway to snap a few photos. It’s a beautiful property, lined with stone walls, an old barn a few feet away, and another smaller one set back in the overgrown meadow behind the house. Remnants of it’s former life scattered here and there, covered in brush and weeds. Progress is good, I guess, but it can be the enemy of history. “Farm’s End” 48 x 30.
There are many farms in our town. Most of them, it seems, are painted white. Apparently this was less of an aesthetic choice, and more a practical one…white paint was cheap, dried fast, and was easy to touch up. And it protected wood from rot. While the practicality and expense of paint today is less a factor, there’s nothing like white-painted structures to reflect the light of a low sun. “Sunlit” 20 x 20 o/c.
Sometimes a painting comes along simply based on the desire to use a particular color. I have a tube of quinacridone violet… very intense when mixed with white. I started this piece with that color in mind for the sky…and that alone seemed sufficient to name the piece with color as the starting point. “Violet Sky” 48 x 48
I passed this old farm the other day, on the other side of town, and loved how the barn behind the sugar maple was slowly emerging from behind the leaves, as they fell. There are countless similar scenes up here in New England, where our amazing fall foliage takes center stage each October. “Autumn Road” 48 x 48 o/c.
My neighbor’s farm has new owners, as the woman who has lived there over the past 50 years is moving on, sizing down, and relinquishing the responsibilities of maintaining a large property, along with it’s 5 buildings. The farm’s future is unknown…will it remain a farm, become a neighborhood? We’ll see. It has been the inspiration for many paintings, including this one, derived from a recent walk around the property, with permission granted by the new owners. “Meadowshade” 36 x 36 o/c.
There are moments in a day, in morning and early evening, when the sun beams between and through things, and then hits a target…a tree, building, or meadow. It’s a moment that gets your attention. It’s those moments I love seeing, and painting. “Sunstrike” 48 x 36 o/c.
My neighbor’s barn and farm have been the subject of many paintings. I snapped a photo from the truck, while driving by it one recent the early morning. It was a cool misty September start to the day, with a yellowish sky from the sun rising through the haze, and the shadows cast from the rising sun were long and cool and followed the slope of the meadow. “Morning Shadows” 36 x 24
In early Fall, meadow grasses are a blend of their summer cool colors of blue and green, with the warmer, dryer tones of gold, yellow, and red…a transitional period that lasts only a few weeks. “Meadowgrass” 36 x 36 o/c.
I was recently asked about the process of composing and titling pieces, and whether these are “real” places, or imagined. They’re both. The inspiration is a real place, and that scene usually dictates the initial composition. But in the process of working up a charcoal sketch from the source, I modify to include things they may not have been there, or remove things that were. My memory of the subject can blend with memories of other pieces, and when that happens, I may modify the composition towards that other mental image. This is a good example. The actual barn complex is in Vermont, but while working on it, it reminded me of a small, hilly town not far from here…Temple, New Hampshire. I’ve done many paintings inspired by scenes in that small Monadnock Region town, so I took it’s name for the title. “Temple Road” 36 x 36.