A BEVY OF BARNS
At June’s workshop with AL LACHMAN, we painted from photographs, something I have not done in years. It was a great two days and a useful exercise, but I felt out of my element at times.
Like Al, who has done a beautiful series of barn paintings, and painters like Wolf Kahn, I have long had a fascination with these huge, nostalgic, often dilapidated or slightly out-of-kilter structures. They seem ancient and majestic, towering over the landscape. Their spacious insides are often dark and fragrant with years-old hay, wood, livestock, grain, apples, or tobacco. Even the poorest of farmers has at least one barn. No two barns are alike.
Barn paintings have their own section on my website.
But my results at the workshop were mixed. In the order in which they were painted, starting above:
Back in my studio, a barn began to emerge in one of my abstractions, to which I added a few details:
AL RECOMMENDS beginning each painting with a premise. It can be anything: choosing a single color, perhaps, singing, or standing on one foot — anything to help shed judgment and inhibitions and start painting. I do this on my own, but I have become more deliberate about it since the workshop.
I began a painting years ago of interlocking swirls that resembled a thick rope on a beach. It never quite came together. The more I tried to fix it, the worse it looked.
Dusting it off recently, I decided to turn it into a barn:
Since then, the barns have kept coming, nearer and nearer:
HERE are some earlier barns that escaped my attention when I made my website.