Sunday, October 23, 2011

THE QUICK & NOT SO QUICK and a note about barns

The not so quick...another barn, this one rendered with pen, ink, markers, pastel, and watercolor pencils.

The quick...a small marker sketch of Bee Bee's, a fantastic gift shop in downtown Paducah.

Why all the barns?

Barns evoke a number of feelings in me, some very personal. I am reminded of the cold winter days milking our family cow in our barn, leaning my head into the cow's flank to absorb her heat, while cats and kittens milled around the pail waiting for a squirt of milk. And there are the not so long ago memories of our barn on the Maryland farm...escaping the cold winter wind and relishing the warmth and the smells of the horses in freshly cleaned stalls. (note the that I'm focusing on the winter days and not the hot, sticky days of summer, getting slapped in the face by the cows tail as she shoos away the flies. I should also mention here that in Maryland Patience did ALL of the mucking...her choice. I got to enjoy the fruits of her labor.)

I am especially fond of the rambling dairy barns, where one or more additions have been tacked on to the main structure, often with only function in mind, resulting in a mish mash of architecture and texture...much to my great delight. Looking at these rural icons, many of them now abandoned or a little more than storage facilites, I wonder about their stories, and the hopes and aspirations of the farm families when the barns were new and ready to serve.

I am saddened to see so many of these wonderful structures, from the simplest to the most elegant, fall into disrepair and treated with such little respect and appreciation for all that they have provided.

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