Saturday, November 09, 2013

Northwest Ohio, Farms and Photography

I drive past this barn every time a train interrupts my regular route. I had my camera with me a few weeks ago and I stopped and took a few pictures. I have always liked this barn for it's sheer size, its wonderful 'cool' red color and the way it contrasts against the surrounding countryside. When I approach from the west the sun is rising in the east and the contrast between light and shadow is gorgeous. I hadn't noticed the smaller buildings before; that barn is so massive it screams. "Look at me!"

This is where a photograph really helps to build a better composition. No matter how much I love the big red barn, it would easily take over my whole painting if I let it. I had to think about the painting as a whole so I moved the path a bit, making it more serpentine. When I was finished I thought it needed something else, so I added a dog. The dog appeared lonely so I gave him a friend and a master.

Now I scrutinize the painting and decide I like it even better. It has progressed from a painting about a red barn in the fall to a story about two dogs and an old woman raking her yard. Does it need a truck parked in front of the barn door as one person suggested to me? I;m not sure. What would the truck be? A way for the woman to escape her labor? I think she's pretty happy just being outside on the last days of autumn enjoying the exercise and the company of her furry friends.

This is the kind of painting I am more interested in doing lately. One that tells a story without falling into too much sentimentality. I have painted many plein air pieces over the past three or four years and while I enjoy doing them I need to keep in mind the main reason I began painting them was to learn how to paint a believable background for my 'people paintings'. Landscape painting has never been my main interest. People and the realities they live in have always been that.

Farm on County Road F


jimmie white said...

Good solution........

Micah Derrota said...

Impressive paintings! You're so talented!