Barnyard Bouquet

Many fine art masters have done still life paintings, and the genre typically includes arrangements of fruit, flowers, vases or bowls, and draped fabric. I consider my newest painting to be a "still life," although the elements I have arranged don't quite fit the mold. Rather, they reflect my life in a lovely rural area, where winding country backroads are lined with wildflowers, and pastures are fenced with old cedar posts and barbed wire. I'm never at a loss for inspiration, right outside my door.

I found the vintage aqua Ball canning jar, complete with a rustic wire carrier, at an antique store. It struck me as the perfect vessel for flower bouquets, which I love to arrange. The idea for a painting came to me last summer, as I filled the jar with wild daisies and black-eyed susans from my yard. I didn't have to travel far from home to find an old fence post on which to hang the jar of flowers, just about a mile down my road - viola, my still life! The weathered post and old twisted barbed wire said "rural countryside" to me, and provided an ideal backdrop for my casual old-timey bouquet. As usual, I took lots of photos to help me later refer to while painting. I'm not a big fan of winter, so working on this art during this damp, chilly January reminded me of warmer weather to come. "Barnyard Bouquet" seems an appropriate title, but I'm still open to suggestions, so let me know your ideas.

As I've mentioned before, I love painting the varied texture of old wood, like this very old weathered post. I used acrylics on canvas here, and this painting had some particular challenges: capturing the transparency and reflectiveness of the glass jar, getting the old strands of barbed wire looking right, and depicting the strong light of a sunny midsummer day. Those are the parts that make it fun for me!

My new year's resolution is to get painting again, after a very sparse year in 2013. My painting time has been losing out to my long list of other interests, like learning to play the fiddle, gardening, cooking, blogging, playing banjo, social life, and - oh yeah - working for a living! Hopefully I'm off to a good start, and I can keep transferring some of the many images rolling around in my head info some fine art.

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