Sunday, August 22, 2010

Painting Outside! at the Farm, Day Two

Saturday morning, Aug 21, J and I painted at Gustafson’s Farm.  It was a morning that started cool and ended warm at noon.  When I started this painting I was going for the cool but as the day progressed, I saw more warm colors so made it a warmer painting, especially on the barn.

#1 version is the way it looked when I brought it home. #2 version is after I worked on the sky and darkened the trees way up the hill, darkened the hill and the fields coming down to the barn.

#3 (top)  is after I strengthened, darkened, lightened, added a few details and cleaned up some of the light areas in the barn with Chinese White.

Which now makes this painting a ‘mixed media’ – or is that only if I used Acrylic or Latex white? Or White-out!  

I certainly enjoyed the going, being, doing there, but for some reason, I’m happy enough, Accepting of this painting but it also leaves me with a lot of questions as to why I’ m thinking and feeling that it’s not quite what I saw or wanted and what is it I need to do to ease the restlessness in my mind. ???

When we were done painting, J offered me the keys to her Prius and a test drive.  Wow, that was nice of her as I’ve had a lot of curiosity about driving/owning a Hybrid car.  It was sweet, I liked driving Clean and Quiet.  It had just as much pep as my ‘99 Corolla and the cargo capabilities were beyond my Corolla, so I think I could be happy with one.

After I win the Lottery....

I drove J in her car to the northern part of the farm, gave her a brief tour as we drove along.  I pointed out to her the bar- way where we plan to meet next week, turned around in the next driveway up and drove back to my car.  It was a pleasant interlude; I enjoyed our conversation, the tour and the test drive.

In my car, I went back over our tour except at the place we turned left, I took a right to the east and a winding country road going around a sharp curve and up a hill.  I wanted to see what was going on up there.

Basically, I wanted to see what had happened to King Irving’s farm.  The farmer’s name was really Irving King but I always thought of him as KING Irving, because that’s the way it was written on both sides of his mailbox that I saw it twice a day from the Schoolbus for 15 years.

I was sad to see how King Irving’s farm had been tamed down from somewhat rocky and stone wall lined fields to gentrified and manicured lawns around a few large McMansions.  His former hay fields and pastures were filled in with green carpet and all the wild things of Nature replaced with Rhododendrons and other Nursery plantings.  The wonderful view to the north west had been replaced with a wall of overgrowth, obscuring  another small farm (that's probably also not there anymore) on the hills toward Litchfield.  Nowhere was even a trace of windswept hill with corn stubble and cows lined up at the gate, waiting to be let into   the rickety barn across the road.  The road itself, recently tarred & graveled, a tidy double yellow line painted down the center, not covered with cowplops, hunks of dirt, puddles of mud, wandering ducks and geese, lined with rusting farm equipment – just trees, lawns and McMansions.  At the farthest border of what I remembered as King Irving’s farm, I turned around.  The old dirt lane that went way back into King Irving’s farthest fields is now the long and smooth driveway of a rich person and a Cul de Sac with a sign that says ‘Deer Run.’  I drove back and to mom’s for lunch.  I’d thought to go ‘around the block’ but feeling somewhat shaken at what had become of the farm-that-only-lives-in-the- memory-of-a- very-few, decided to save the rest of that part of the ‘hood’ for another day.  This one tiny foray down memory lane has brought on another surge of old memories from those days.  I think that around the block would have been overwhelming.


This is a Sunday morning with rain and I’m sitting on the edge of my bed, typing on my computer that’s on a table next to the night stand, sorting memories.  Albert is sleeping nearby.  We’re having a lazy Sunday morning in bed watching the rain fall, listening to all the sounds.  It’s a gentle rain and a sweet Sunday morning, memories and all.


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