When I was living in Iowa, I often drove past this group of barns and stopped frequently to take photos of them. I loved them in all seasons and found myself going out of my way in order to drive past them. They intrigued me, how they sat in a line at the edge of a vast field with no farmhouse in sight. I loved the worn white paint, the aged grey shingles on the roofs. They spoke to me of an idealic world somehow, when life was more basic.
I hadn't been painting very long when I did my first painting of them. It was sold at an auction to benefit a family who had lost their mother during childbirth. Months later, I heard back from the family who bought it. Their father had been a farmer with similar white barns on his farm and they bought it as it reminded them of it. When they went to hang it on the wall, they realized the date that I painted it was the date that he had passed away. And so the painting had quite the poignancy for them and also for me.
Moving from Iowa was hard. I dearly loved the open landscape, the slower pace of life, the barns and farmland and how beautifully green it was. Even the deep frosty chill of winter had a magnificent beauty. It was a land that soothed my spirit. After I moved, I started another painting of the barns, wanting to capture the light of an early spring evening when the smell of damp earth permeates the air and the green lushness of new growth fills the senses.
But life intervened and between moving from Iowa to Colorado to Arizona, the time it took to job hunt and ending up in a place that wasn't as conducive to painting, I lost my way with this painting and so I put it away.
Now, 7 years later, it's time to bring it back out and finish it. The dust has been scrubbed off and painting resumed. It isn't complete yet, but it's well on it's way and it makes my heart glad to see it progressing!
I've also been doing a little Plein Air painting. Two of my friends and I spent a delightful morning at Lake Loveland sketching and painting the scenery. Lovely to be out painting with friends!
Here is the result. Just a couple hours after we finished painting, the clouds deepened and the skies filled with lightening and heavy thunderstorms. How grateful I was to have had a lovely morning and that the rain held off until we were through!
It's all just dibs and dabs of paint, but it makes my heart glad to be painting again. I hope that in some small measure, my paintings can share my joy in this glorious world that God has created. How blest we are.