Hi! I hope you enjoy looking at these old barns, reading their stories, and viewing my paintings of them.
"Preserving American history ... one old barn at a time."
Welcome to the wonderful world of barns and my Ohio barn project, a humble attempt to preserve Ohio history by painting pictures of old barns and writing essays about them. Proceeds from many of the paintings will be donated to the 4H or FFA or another worthy charity in the counties where the barns are located. In fact, I’ll come to your county if you can find someone familiar with your old barns, someone who is passionate enough about barns to do some leg work ahead of my visit. Use the contact form to get in touch with me regarding this.
Why and how? This crazy old barn in Ohio’s Licking County started it. “Granville Gray” as I call him, planted the idea – quite by accident. When, on our annual wedding anniversary weekend in 2012, my wife and I turned down the road to our bed and breakfast, we passed this gentle gray giant. Its roof sagging, its side boards warped and tilted – a few missing here and there, the barn grabbed me. Disheveled, it begged for attention. I don’t know how or why, but the idea sprang into my head that I had to find out more.
So, the next day I met the owner in the small old (1830) farmhouse next to the barn and learned about its story. I told Mr. Hall that I’d eventually start this project and, sure enough, in late 2015, I presented him with a small study painting of his barn. Isn’t it funny how ideas mushroom?
Over the next three years I thought more about my project and decided to write an essay on each barn that had a story behind it. If, after I assemble 50 or so barn paintings and essays, I can find a willing publisher, I’ll finish a book – paintings, essays, and barn photos: a look at early Ohio history, a time when farm work took the place of smartphones and computers.
I’ve also decided to funnel funds from these paintings into the 4H and FFA – towards the young men and women who work on Ohio farms, providing food, and who will become the next generation of Ohio farmers. After seeing them in the Highland county fair, I was convinced this was the right way to approach this project. I attended the goat judging competition and got the chance to see these youngsters, neatly dressed and groomed, presenting their goats, hoping for ribbons. They reminded me of the youth of the 1950s, a time when I grew up. By the way, I now know the finer points of goat competitions, thanks to the judge who explained what she liked and didn’t like.
MY PAINTINGS. I use the thick impasto oil technique on canvas or Masonite panels and I prefer to use original barn wood – from the barn I paint – to frame the painting. You can find out more about this impasto stuff on my bio page.
ARE THE PAINTINGS FOR SALE? Yes, though they're primarily in fundraisers. See the event page for current listings. And, if you rummage through this website, you'll find a few for sale - local scenes in St. Augustine, Florida. The first barn art sale came in April (2016) in Hillsboro at the annual 4H fundraiser and brought in $1700, about a third of the total raised. The second one was held in September, 2016. See the Events section for a list of current fundraisers. I will do this for other counties, as well. First come, first served.
All images and text are copyrighted.
Copyright © 2016