Ochre; oils on canvas, 24” x 36”, © Rose Guastella 2016
Running along the not-much-used side entrance to our local Walmart is a chain-link fence. Behind the fence is a little driveway and the property pictured in the painting I just finished. I like that entrance to the parking lot because it always has less traffic, and if I *must* go to Walmart, I want in and out as quickly as possible. Besides, I always love looking at the old barn and the manufactured house it sits next to.
It looks abandoned but I'm not really sure. At night, there is a single light coming from inside the house. No cars or trucks are ever parked there, though. The deferred maintenance is obvious but not unusual for the area.
One day not too long ago, the BLP was driving and we were heading to the store together, so I was able to snap a few pictures of the property on the way in. The light was oddly yellow, as it can be in the early fall and late on a cloudy afternoon. The grass and moss on the roof were relatively bright- this time of year, both are usually very vibrant everywhere. It's the cool, damp weather they seem to love.
The colors just seemed to go with the feel of the house and barn, as does the title. (Thanks, alsoknownas.)
There is a dignity to ancient and decrepit barns, as they ever-so-slowly move toward collapse. They are fragile and beautiful, like the very oldest members of our families. We need to be careful with them.
There is a gorgeous old barn in another community North of me, that I have been watching and photographing for about 8 years now. It used to be red, and stood proudly in a little valley between some foothills of the Olympic Mountains. It's a very long barn. it started out just slightly dipped in the middle of the roof, and became more and more sway-backed as the years went on. The last time I saw it, there had been a considerable collapse- but the rest of it still stands, as does the glorious white farmhouse set close to the road. I would love to paint that scene, too.
The barn in this picture is just starting that process. I may wait a few years and paint it again, as long as no one comes along and dismantles it.
At 24" x 36", this is the largest painting I've done in probably 30 years. I found a frame at Goodwill that fits. It required a little renewal- it's oak, structurally sound, and needed cleaning, sanding and painting. I'm at the last steps now, black enamel paint. The painting itself isn't dry enough to frame and hang yet.