I love old barns.  I love the smell, I love the textures of peeled paint and well worn timbers.  I love the feel of the dirt beneath my feet.  I love the sunlight striking them and making great shadow shapes on them.

Sunrise through my bedroom window

I don’t like painting them, nor do I enjoy viewing paintings of red barns.  After revisiting all my little oil sketches, the plein air studies I’ve been doing the last few months, I added all of the “barn” paintings to the pile of not-worth-keeping-paintings.  I will sand them all down this weekend.

Throughout the day I wondered about my reaction to barn paintings.  I like landscape and I like buildings. The abstract nature of a cityscape is pure joy.  I think I don’t like them mixed together.  Mixing linear with organic doesn’t work well for me.  A big red barn interrupts the rhythm of almost any landscape.

What freedom!  Next time I’m confronted with painting a landscape with a barn, I will simply eliminate the barn or I will focus on a blade of grass at my feet instead.

The painting I’ve posted was almost a keeper, maybe because the red paint of the barn doesn’t show.  Almost … but I’m in an all or nothing mood, so it, too, will be sanded down to make a renewed surface for another little oil sketch.

Painting: Oil on wood panel 5″ x 8″, April 2010

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