Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Meditations: Upon Painting by Memory


My aunt's partner asked me to paint her one of my silhouettes of the farm where we grew up.  I had been planning to get a picture of the sunset behind it, but driving past one night I realized that the farm has changed so much since we knew it best that there is no picture in the world that could capture that memory.  Flipping through one of my photo albums, I found a picture from long ago in the summertime.  It's the front of the barn, there is a rainbow in the sky, and a wagon filled with square bales of hay waiting to be loaded into the loft. 

I was going to paint that exact picture,  but I'd be at it until next Christmas.  I know I'd never get it perfect enough.  So I had to rely on my imagination and memory.  I had to remember what it was like to play around the back of the barn as I did so many evenings trying to get out of chores.  Looking at the finished product, I think I managed to capture that.  I know it's not the window pictures that I'm working on currently, but I wanted something a little different.  And besides, looking out the window at this vantage would have been incorrect.  There are no windows there.  Just me standing on the tractor path.

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