PAINTING MOUNTAINS AND NOSTALGIA
I mentioned previously that I had wanted to start painting mountains again. Well, I decided that part of this plan would be painting nostalgic scenes such as old barns, especially ones with the big signs painted on them that we've all seen along our country roads. I well remember these sights as a child. I am dating myself here, but I grew up watching the interstate system being built. We had moved to Kentucky from West Virginia and at that time it took a good 8 hours to drive the 200+ miles from Lexington to Charleston via state highways. The nice thing about it was the scenery. I loved seeing all the beautiful small towns, the pretty little farms, and the people and animals everywhere. The slower pace made the trip longer, but allowed us to enjoy the scenery. The interstate system sped things up, and in the process took away the personality of the trip.
That's one reason that I love the Blue Ridge Parkway so much. It brings back the small town feeling, the down home, nostalgic feel that we once enjoyed. Life was much simpler and people cared more for others. By that I mean they took the time to talk, enquire about your family (they actually knew your family) tell you about their day and tell funny, clean jokes. Ok, I'm done now, LOL! But seriously, most young people have never experienced this type of life and to me, that is sad.
Well, to get back to my original comments, I wanted to capture that feeling of a slower, more peaceful time. To that end, I am painting those old barns, old homesteads, farm animals, mountains, old one-room-schools, and even the little country stores we knew and loved. For those of you who grew up going to supermarkets, we would walk down the street to the mom-and-pop store. It was built on the side of a hill with the store on the second floor that opened to the street, and the living quarters downstairs facing the mountain view. My sisters and I could walk down there alone (safely, even at a young age) and buy a bag of candy for a dime! Candy was a penny, a big candy bar was a nickel, and a bottle of Coke was a nickel too! We picked up bottles off the side of the road to get the money for the candy and the store gave us the candy in exchange for the bottles. Yes, they recycled those bottles! There were no styrofoam containers, no plastic bottles, and no trash on the side of the roads.
The first painting in what I am calling my "Nostalgia" series is of an old barn with the fading words "See Rock City" painted on the side. The second is of a hillside pasture on a frosty morning with the herd of cattle that most farmers owned. I am also doing more barns, and some will have the quilts painted on the side. These can still be seen today throughout the hills of Kentucky and many other states. Actually, I believe people are now decorating their sheds and barns with art reminiscent of these quilts or with their own artistic designs. It is attractive and fun!
If you ever have the opportunity to travel some country roads please take the time to do so. You will have a wonderful time seeing the sights, enjoying the roadside stands, and these folks are still friendly and welcome travelers! And yes, the "old-timers" still have stories to tell.
I am concentrating on these paintings for the next few months because I have been invited to do an Art Show in Paris, Kentucky where I went to high school. This show will be in the fall and I want to feature these nostalgic paintings. I love my seascapes, but one must go with what is popular in the area, right? I will take some of the "Ocean Meditations" and a few of my Florida landscape paintings along, but the focus will be on Kentucky and mountain scenery. There is a large area to show paintings at the Hopewell Museum in Paris, and that is nice, but I am limited by the size of my car. You know that I'll pack in as many as I can!
Below are photos of some of these paintings. Please enjoy and then share your stories with others!
22 X 28
Acrylic on stretched canvas
11 x 14