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I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Tobacco Barns & Days Gone By

Sometimes I give myself a painting assignment
just to up the ante in my process.  This time
I chose to paint in two layers: the first
would be rendered in yellow, red and white; in the
second I could only use yellow, blue and white.

Tobacco barns are a familiar sight in the western North Carolina area.  No longer used for their intended purpose, many of them stand empty and sad, slowly disintegrating before our eyes.  The evils of tobacco notwithstanding, I have an affinity for these old structures and often pause wishing I could know the tales they hold in their old weathered boards.  Now and again I am able to get a decent photo...too many are located on fast moving roadways that preclude pulling off to explore.  But when I do get a pic, I have fun painting them in a variety of ways.

Limiting myself to a strict palate of only what I could mix with yellow, red (primary colors) and white if needed, I made my first pass at the scene with an acrylic underpainting.

I actually liked the feel this gave and left it for a few days as tribute to the warm and humid days when the tobacco hung.  I was also contemplating what I might do with my next selected colors.

So I switched to oil paints and put away the red adding the third primary blue.  Now I could mix these two for green and/or put glazes of blue on top of red for purples or on oranges I got to work.

I was tentative in the sky because I really liked the yellow overcast but worked on clouds while deciding just how blue to go.  I also wanted the attention to flow up the hill and thru the barn so did not want to provide too much distraction in the orangish foreground.  Restraint was called for even with so few colors to work with.  I had to rely on brush stroke, temperature and perspective to get my message across.  

My Father's World
oil, 24 x 24, on cradled board, $325

And even though my father's farm did not grown tobacco, this was of his era so the name felt appropriate.  I would give anything for an afternoon of stories from this barn, and even more so, from my Dad.  Meanwhile, the structure sits alone, a beacon of days (and economies) gone by.


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