Friday, March 13, 2015

The Story of My Art - Heritage Painting

 This is a photo of my grandparents' farm.  
This is a painting I did when I was in college.  It is a view from my grandparents' kitchen, and that window faced the barns.  The chair is where Grandpa would sit to take off his work boots.

There they are on the newspapers, next to the dog's bowls.  He would hang his hat on the chair when he came in.  There was a calendar hung behind the door that had stickers for the delivery of ice cream. (The Schwan's man)

That painting was something I worked on, but never really was happy with.  It was one of those times where I had an idea, but the idea didn't quite make it onto the canvas.  I remember one of my professors saying it had a feeling of home, but seemed unfinished.  And maybe it was...

The painting sat for many years.

Then I thought I would start working on "fixing" it.  It took me quite a while to bring myself to cover over this work, even though I didn't really like it.  But I started...

Somewhere along the way, my mom gave me a copy of my grandparents' wedding photo.  I made a copy of my copy and cut it as an oval.  I had some scrapbook paper that looked like old wallpaper, and that is where I began.
The bottom half of the wall needed some help too.  The memory I had of the wallpaper and paint that was in that kitchen was accurate at the time, but my depiction was a little less than...well...it needed help.

I painted some vertical stripes which created a stripe to represent each of my siblings and cousins - my grandparents' grandchildren.
When the house needed to be cleared out after both my grandparents were gone, there was an old notebook that contained penmanship practice from my ancestors.  I used color copies of some of those pages to cover the white stripes.
I also made three small tags with my mom and her siblings names, and hung those beneath the wedding picture.  Do you see the family tree starting to take shape?

Then I needed to do something with the window.  I had a few different ideas, but couldn't really fine tune my thoughts to put something into place.  So I decided to add the barns, and remove some of the window...
There are those clouds again. . .

The life of a farmer is not just inside, and not just outside, and not just in-between.  All of those spaces blend together. . .


This is where the paintings is at the moment.  I think I want to continue to fill out the family tree idea.  There is more work to be done, more ideas to work through, but I like it much better than I did before...

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