Thursday, September 27, 2007

If the barn needs painting...paint it!

My first year of college was spent at Bob Jones University in Greenville SC. I remember Dr. Bob once said, "if the "barn" needs painting, then paint it!" That was his view of the issue of women and makeup. I always thought that was just the funniest thing ever....and decided early on that I must be a "barn" as I "needed" makeup!

Mom started painting when she was age 53. She became a wonderful, international, award-winning watercolor artist. I keep telling myself that one day, I will learn to paint on a flat surface, but in the meantime, I'm content to paint on everything except flat surfaces! However, I do think painting is incredible. It allows you to recreate scenes from your past, to add color to what was black & white in old photographs, and to embellish your memories.

She painted these scenes of Grandma's farm. And they are just so true to life!

Out behind that barn was a huge horse trough. The horses and cows would linger there on a long hot summer day, drinking water to keep cool. Goldfish swam in the bottom of it. The water was so mucky you couldn't see more than 6 inches down. Green slime grew all over the inside. But getting in that horse tank was the best way to cool down! Who cared if you couldn't see the bottom? Who cared if your cousins told you there were monsters growing down there? Who cared if all you could feel was that slime between your toes and the goldfish touching your legs? (Well, I have always told myself that's what it ws I was feeling!!!) In an era with no air conditioning....playing in the horse trough on a sticky, hot, Indiana summer day was the best thing on earth!

And that barn had the best haymow anywhere around. At least I thought so! We weren't allowed to play up there much...but every now and then when our cousins came to play, we would "sneak" out there and explore. I'm quite sure our parents knew our every move, but we thought we were getting away with something! I remember lots of tack hanging on the walls. A horribly filthy pig pen that every now and then when I was really bad, I had the honor of cleaning! The timbers in that barn seemed to be a foot square. I thought nothing would ever bring it down! Climbing up into the haymow, layers of hay piled high, with loads of places to climb and play. Now, if you could only stand the smells of the horses, cows and pigs below....and all those flies on a steamy hot summer was the best place on earth!

Painted memories! What a gift mom has given us....what a legacy she is leaving for generations to come! I am so grateful for her art and how she inspires me to create. I am so grateful that she and dad made the choice to raise us on a farm!

Of course, part of becoming an "altered" artist is to alter some of mom's paintings. I cut the painting apart and adhered it to canvases that were colored using Ranger's Colorwash inks. The flowers and swirls were created by spritzing colorwash on glossy white cardstock, then diecutting them. I titled this one "Play Time"'s how I remember Grandma's farm.

No comments: