Sunday, February 14, 2016

Painting My Country Roots

I moved out west to Las Vegas back in 1978 from my childhood home of Eldon, Missouri.  I was only a teenager at the time, but there is something about one's childhood that shapes and influences your life, perhaps more than the rest of your years spent as an adult.  I may have lived in this large city for all of my adult years, but in my heart I still identify myself as a country girl.

That is why I'm painting a series right now I feel I have a strong connection to and that I am calling "Down Country Roads."  I lived the best years of my childhood on a dusty dirt road surrounded by trees, flowers, wildlife and farming.  I love old farm houses, gardens, livestock, barns, porch swings, old mail boxes, barbed wire fences and fence posts covered in morning glories dotting every dirt road and 2 lane highway across this amazing country and they are my inspiration.

When it feels like crazy is becoming the normal,  I have to only return to my roots to find that this country is still full of good folk that appreciate the freedom to work hard and get their hands dirty, to raise their families and take care of their neighbors. This series of paintings are my tribute to that way of life and looking at them, frankly makes me smile.

"Fence Post Curiosity"- 36 x 24 Original Acrylic

This is my newest piece, just finished this week.  I'm calling it "Fence Post Curiosity".  Cows are curious creatures and will often watch you as drive by, especially if all your children are hanging out of the windows yelling, "MOO."  I just couldn't help myself and found that I had to add the cow licking her nose to the composition.   The consistent themes of blue morning glories are present as they are in the previous two pieces along with cheerful Black-eyed Susans.

This piece was a real challenge as I have never painted such large animals before.  The canvas measures 36 x 24 inches so this jersey cow is at least 2 feet tall.

Lunch Under the Mailbox- 36 x 24 Original Acrylic 
My second piece in the series that I have painted is called "Lunch Under the Mailbox".  I've blogged about this one previously and so if you follow me you know that I loved little box turtles growing up.  They were everywhere in the spring and summer.  They may move slowly but they are so persistent.  I remember many times just running in for a moment to get a drink or snack, certain that I could return in time to prevent my little reptiles escape on to find that there was no longer any trace of him.   
Life at the Fence Post- 36 x 24 Original Acrylic

This is the piece first piece that I came up with and at the time that I painted it I wasn't thinking about a series.  I simply was painting a piece that reminded me of summer.  The predominate color of green makes me think of Missouri in the summer.  Everything is SO green unlike the Mojave Desert that I call home now. 

This series will be presented together as part of a solo show that will be held in the month of April at the Boulder City Art Gallery in Boulder City, Nevada.  My goal is to have at least 2 more pieces completed by that time along with a number of smaller related paintings.  It will be a show worth seeing.  All these piece can be found on my website where you can find a link to order prints and see the rest of my work.  Just visit and click on the gallery tab.

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