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barnburner
02-20-2010, 01:25 PM
Finally completed this in the WIP section.
There's a bit of a story behind this painting. As a child, I spent many wonderful days with my Uncle Bill and Aunt Alma, and my 5 cousins. Their place was my favorite place to be. There was a big creek next to their place that ran for many miles. My cousin Jerry (now deceased), and I would roam and explore that creek for hours on end, finding out about wildlife, pulling each other out of quicksand, skinny dipping in the swimming hole, looking for arrowheads, fishing,etc.. My Uncle Bill was a sharecropper, which is an economic graveyard. When I was about 10, they abruptly moved to California, and, I lost contact with most of them. 50 years later, I stumbled into an opportunity to contact my cousin Joyce. What I learned from her, was that My uncle Bill knew that he was going to die, and moved his family to California, so they would be in a better position to take care of themselves after he passed. The amazing thing, was after not having any contact with Joyce for 50 years, we connected immediately, and are now more like brother and sister than cousins. We think alike about everything, we have the very same favorite singers, and share the same eating habits,etc.. After that long seperation, we are now in contact daily. The place her family lived in Arkansas, holds special memories for both Joyce, and myself. Last labor day, I went by there to take some pictures of it and send to Joyce. Unfortunately, it was totally gone - nothing but farmland. Not a sign that anyone had ever lived there.
So, the idea of painting the old home site was born.
I decided that if I could make a worthwhile painting of her old home, I'd send it to my cousin.
The last pic is a reference photo taken at least 20 years after they moved.
The other two are the paintings I made - one with a clear sky, one with a cloudy sky.
I had to make a lot of changes, because things that were there back then, are not in the ref photo, and things that are in the ref photo, were not there when they lived there.
I expanded the painting out towards the road, and to the right, in order to be able to show some of the cotton field.
It's funny... I had other family members in the area that I could visit, who had running water, electricity, indoor bathrooms,etc., but I preferred being at this place, where we had none of that. :)
I really wondered if I was biting off more than I could chew with this project, but, if I do say so, it's a pretty good likeness of how their place looked back then.
Oh...the rake on the side of the house, was "by request" from my cousin Joyce.
When they were expecting "company", her Momma would make Joyce take a rake and take up all the chicken "droppings" from around the house, which seemed a bit silly to us kids, since everybody that came around, were country folk and quite used to chickens.
Still, Aunt Alma said they were poor, but they could at least make the place as clean as possible. :)
I suppose Joyce wanted that rake included in the painting, as sort of a belated "Protest". LOL....

IrishRose
02-20-2010, 01:31 PM
Mike, I've watched this from Day 1... and all I can say is that this is a wonderful memory... to have a painting of a special time in your life, as well as changing the picture to give it more life with the trees in bloom, really is so wonderful.

Thanks for the story... and for the lovely WIP :) Let us know what Joyce says about it! :)

barnburner
02-20-2010, 01:46 PM
Mike, I've watched this from Day 1... and all I can say is that this is a wonderful memory... to have a painting of a special time in your life, as well as changing the picture to give it more life with the trees in bloom, really is so wonderful.

Thanks for the story... and for the lovely WIP :) Let us know what Joyce says about it! :)

Thank you Rose, for both your kind comments here, and for your support in WIP.
I truly appreciate it very much.
I certainly will report back with Joyce's reaction.
I can tell you this much already. When I emailed her and told her what I was going to do, she answered back that she was sitting there with tears in her eyes.
That was incentive enough to take on the task. :)

Valerie
02-20-2010, 01:57 PM
What a wonderful memory barnburner, and I love the what you did with the painting. Arent memories wonderful.

barnburner
02-20-2010, 02:43 PM
What a wonderful memory barnburner, and I love the what you did with the painting. Arent memories wonderful.

Yes they are Valerie... Thank you very much.:)

Juz
02-20-2010, 05:31 PM
Very nice... well done on the made up foliage it looks great. I really love the cloudy sky one :):)

Evart
02-21-2010, 01:09 AM
I like the painted ones better :D

barnburner
02-21-2010, 01:59 AM
Very nice... well done on the made up foliage it looks great. I really love the cloudy sky one :):)

Many thanks.:)

barnburner
02-21-2010, 02:01 AM
I like the painted ones better :D

You have a point.. Painted memories are controllable, unlike the real ones. :):)
Thanks.

Alexandra
02-21-2010, 07:31 AM
Thank you for the story Mike, and the picture is beautiful as well as charming. I think she will love it. What a special and precious time gifted to you in life. Have you ever thought about writing stories especially relating to the times and people in your life? They would be wonderful.

barnburner
02-21-2010, 07:44 AM
Thank you for the story Mike, and the picture is beautiful as well as charming. I think she will love it. What a special and precious time gifted to you in life. Have you ever thought about writing stories especially relating to the times and people in your life? They would be wonderful.

Sandra, thank you so much.
Actually, after being frustrated at wondering about all the blank spots in relatives histories after they have passed, I have indeed been considering writing something to leave behind to my family, in order to hopefully reduce the amount of "blank" spots in my life to a minimum. My cousin Joyce actually has done that, writing journals, complete with pictures for her kids and grandchildren. A really neat idea to my way of thinking.
By the way, Joyce was extremely happy with the painting. She said she spent at least an hour just exploring and soaking it in. Joyce said that every detail held memories for her. Needless to say, her joy made painting it, a worthwhile task for me.
About a year ago, I painted the bridge her Daddy built over the creek by their place, and I put her on the bridge, based on a ref photo took when she was back there for a visit in the late 70s.
I'm thinking of redoing it, since there was a lot of the area surrounding the bridge that I did badly.
The house without the creek, is only half the story, because that creek was the greatest playground any kids could ever hope to have. :):)
Again - thank you very much.

jibes
02-21-2010, 08:08 AM
Great painting and a great story. I know how enjoyable it is to paint these scenes that bring back memories. I used to live in a RR Depot up in North Dakota, and when I painted it all sorts of great feelings and memories came back to me. Thanks for sharing this and your story.

barnburner
02-21-2010, 08:24 AM
Great painting and a great story. I know how enjoyable it is to paint these scenes that bring back memories. I used to live in a RR Depot up in North Dakota, and when I painted it all sorts of great feelings and memories came back to me. Thanks for sharing this and your story.

There's a lot of similarity in life styles between the Dakotas, and the area of Arkansas where I came from, so I can well imagine how you felt when you painted back those memories.
Many thanks!

Sketchism71
02-21-2010, 09:37 PM
A true labor of love BB! To me, you have achieved in this what most artists strive for in each image they create... Movement! Not the dynamic kind but the emotional kind. That feeling that you get when a song (from a specific time in your life) is played on the radio and that almost overwhelming sense of vivid recollection of times gone by invade your senses! It may be that this painting will do that for those who have a special place in their heart for this little house of memories. Mission complete! Total success!:D:D

Eileen724
02-21-2010, 10:35 PM
What an emotional piece from the beginning to the end, Michael! I love what you've done and made it your own....it's wonderful and so very special. Be proud of yourself for such a great accomplishment. I love to hear the stories behind someone's paintings such as yours. They make the painting that much more meaningful and enchanting for all of us. Well done!!! Gotta love those memories!!!

alkratzer
02-22-2010, 03:13 AM
Beautiful story, beautiful painting. Thank you so much for sharing both with us!

Lee
02-22-2010, 04:15 AM
Dear Barnburner, this is so beautiful, the story and painting together, honestly, don't think i want to look at anything else today, just wonderful, each sentence could be a page from a childrens book, each memory takes one around the home inside and out, thank you for sharing! best wishes to you and your cousin! what a simply beautiful thing!:)

barnburner
02-22-2010, 04:49 AM
A true labor of love BB! To me, you have achieved in this what most artists strive for in each image they create... Movement! Not the dynamic kind but the emotional kind. That feeling that you get when a song (from a specific time in your life) is played on the radio and that almost overwhelming sense of vivid recollection of times gone by invade your senses! It may be that this painting will do that for those who have a special place in their heart for this little house of memories. Mission complete! Total success!:D:D

I'm just pretty much blown away with such wonderful reactions to this painting. You are quite correct, it was very much an emotional experience, working on it. As each piece came together, they brought with them - memories.
Thank you much.

barnburner
02-22-2010, 04:50 AM
What an emotional piece from the beginning to the end, Michael! I love what you've done and made it your own....it's wonderful and so very special. Be proud of yourself for such a great accomplishment. I love to hear the stories behind someone's paintings such as yours. They make the painting that much more meaningful and enchanting for all of us. Well done!!! Gotta love those memories!!!

Eileen, thank you very much. I'm really glad you enjoyed both the paintings and the stories behind them. :):)

barnburner
02-22-2010, 04:51 AM
Beautiful story, beautiful painting. Thank you so much for sharing both with us!

Many thanks! I'm truly glad you enjoyed them both.

barnburner
02-22-2010, 04:53 AM
Dear Barnburner, this is so beautiful, the story and painting together, honestly, don't think i want to look at anything else today, just wonderful, each sentence could be a page from a childrens book, each memory takes one around the home inside and out, thank you for sharing! best wishes to you and your cousin! what a simply beautiful thing!:)

Well, honestly, I could spend the day just reading your wonderful response! :):)
I cannot express how touched I am that this painting and this story has apparently really touched people.
That, is just wonderful.
Thanks so much for your kind thoughts.

Caesar
02-22-2010, 09:32 AM
It's like to assist to a birth after looking to its development through echographies all over its pregnancy in the WIP section, dear Barnburner.
The foetus looked wonderfully forming, so the baby is a really amazing painting whose charm is and interpretation goes well beyond that of the reference picture.
Congratulations!

Lima
02-22-2010, 11:31 AM
Barnburner the final result is just so beautiful. Congratulations.

barnburner
02-22-2010, 12:59 PM
It's like to assist to a birth after looking to its development through echographies all over its pregnancy in the WIP section, dear Barnburner.
The foetus looked wonderfully forming, so the baby is a really amazing painting whose charm is and interpretation goes well beyond that of the reference picture.
Congratulations!

Caesar, your kindness is much appreciated.:)

barnburner
02-22-2010, 01:00 PM
Barnburner the final result is just so beautiful. Congratulations.

Many thanks. I do appreciate it very much.:)

foxytocin
02-22-2010, 03:16 PM
Absolutely love the sentiment behind this and I think you've done a wonderful job....I can relate in that, while I'm younger than you, I was born in a house with no running water and can remember quite well visiting friends who had no electricity or running water. I spent most warm days of my childhood, after the farm chores were done, playing in creeks or floating on a raft in the middle of the pond, watching aquatic creatures.

barnburner
02-22-2010, 04:47 PM
Absolutely love the sentiment behind this and I think you've done a wonderful job....I can relate in that, while I'm younger than you, I was born in a house with no running water and can remember quite well visiting friends who had no electricity or running water. I spent most warm days of my childhood, after the farm chores were done, playing in creeks or floating on a raft in the middle of the pond, watching aquatic creatures.

Thanks Foxy.. There really is something about those kind of experiences when you are young, that seem to "ground" one as they move ahead in life.

paul_uk7
02-22-2010, 10:34 PM
Lovely painting.

barnburner
02-23-2010, 04:43 AM
Lovely painting.

Paul, thanks a lot..:)

Lee
02-23-2010, 05:24 AM
Dear Barnburner, still want to say thought about your lovely painting and story yesterday, made me feel good all day and think you could publish this as a book, it is such a complete outline and silly but i could hear music and naration as in, now don't laugh, the waltons for family style, or titanic for recalled memories or bridges of madison county for style although your story is actually much much better than 'madison county') do think you should preserve your oportunity to put this into a book, such a warm beautiful story, best wishes!!! :)

barnburner
02-23-2010, 06:29 AM
Dear Barnburner, still want to say thought about your lovely painting and story yesterday, made me feel good all day and think you could publish this as a book, it is such a complete outline and silly but i could hear music and naration as in, now don't laugh, the waltons for family style, or titanic for recalled memories or bridges of madison county for style although your story is actually much much better than 'madison county') do think you should preserve your oportunity to put this into a book, such a warm beautiful story, best wishes!!! :)

Lee, thank you so much. I'm not laughing..I cannot tell you how many times over the years when I watched the Walton's (one of my favorite shows), I was reminded of my cousin's family. There was a particular resemblance, in the early days of the series, when they really showed the Walton's as dirt poor.
My cousin Joyce's youngest sister was a ringer for the youngest Walton girl, complete with red hair and freckles. :)
I deeply appreciate your suggestion, and will give it serious consideration of doing something in that area.
Not sure what form it would take, but it's an idea that really interests me, because there is a lot more to tell.
Many, many thanks, for both your kind thoughts, and your interest. :):)