Remnants of the Past

Open Door and Open Windows

When this aging structure as a focal point for a painting was suggested to me, I thought it looked too sentimental. However, I had painted Lupine Hill, which is close by and really liked the feel of this piece of land. I found a point of view that included the cabin and set up. Three mornings in a row I showed up to work on this painting. The clouds and sky were there the first day. Not surprising that the next important element for me was light. I particularly liked how the sun caste light through the window casings and doorway. I was always drawn to the Renaissance device of the canvas being an open window through to give the illusion of depth. As it turned out, the window opening when isolated by the window frame created these bands of color, which looked, quite abstract and flat. It’s interesting to note how one makes associations that operate outside our awareness especially when you paint out in the open and have to make decisions quickly before the light shifts. The many gophers that called the ground below this cabin home and the jackrabbit that blended into the sagebrush before moving on were fun distractions.

This building was built in the early 1900’s during the days of homesteading. I am not sure what it would have been used for. Those individuals who would know are now gone. My guess is that it was a storage place, chicken coop or something like that. It has what looks to be a sod roof, which is the top layer of soil that lies on a rack of poles. I am curious about the soil because the roof has lasted for decades. It is an old structure with a past that contains lots of stories about lives lived.

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