Saturday, November 26, 2016

Haying or a Small Bit-o-History

Haying 8x10 inches acrylic paint
This time around I'm showing a small painting I did a few years ago. The painting is based on an old family photo showing how hay for livestock was handled in the 1930s. Hay was cut, left out to dry and then raked up with a “dump rake” into huge piles. Those huge piles were scooped up by the pitchfork full, into a wagon. Which was transported from the hayfield to a barn via a mule drawn wagon, then scooped up, by a hay fork (think a huge double arm scoop, sorta like what you use in a mechanical arcade game machine with crane claw). It was swung into the barn where it was stored. You can see the opening in the top of the barn where the hay fork came out to scoop the hay up in the loft. Then in the winter it was doled out, again by the pitchfork full, fed from hay racks on the ground floor of the barn. All this was by hand, mind you!

I've always been fascinated by the older black and white photos.....they usually have such a wealth of can see almost every blade of grass! Every time I see a really neat old photo, I always want to “see” it in colour. Since I tend to solve a lotta of my desires with paint.....I will often take an old black and white photo and bring it up to colour. It's a nice challenge to see if I can get the black and white values correct.....while still injecting what I feel would be the right colours to fit the scene.

But bringing an old black and white photo into colour, offers another neat opportunity.....a chance to learn about the circumstances that the photo is presenting. In this case, it's revisiting a vanished farming era. Other times, painting someone's family member from an old faded black and white photo, lets me learn more about that person in the photo......and how the person commissioning my painting really “saw” that family member. I always learn SO much!

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