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Sunday morning barnstorming

Its asymmetrical northern gable end only a few yards away from the edge of Rt 23 in western Lancaster county, this barn has caught my eye for years. I stopped during a bike ride and did a quick pencil sketch of it yesterday afternoon. The owner strolled across the road as I was tucking my little pad into a back pocket, and after congratulating me for being out getting some exercise on such a gorgeous day, told me a little about the farm. 39 acres with the barns and a stone house, the deed dates it to around 1750, so the original owners answered to the King of England. We chatted about staying fit in our later years (he's 68 - 7 years my senior), the hard work that farming is (he grew tobacco at one time, which is all about backbreaking labor), and the impossible expense of maintaining these old buildings. I told him he might see me sometime set up with an easel alongside of the road, and he invited me to have the run of the property anytime.

So after an hour and a half early morning ride took me past the place once again, I threw my infrequently used field easel and a few supplies in the trunk of the MG and drove over to take a stab at it before I could figure out an excuse not to. Parked in the weeds, unfolded the easel behind the car and got started.

A fascinating collection of geometric shapes being battered by the seasons and grown over with vines, neglect allowing it to be slowly consumed. I like to think that I'll return to better interpret the scene until I feel satisfied I got it right. Might be a long project!

watercolor over graphite pencil on Arches 140lb hot pressed watercolor paper, 14 x 20

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