― Andrew Wyeth
This is one of my favorite quotes from Andrew Wyeth. His paintings had a huge influence on me... I spent hours pouring over books of his drawing and paintings while growing up in Bucks County. My parents would take me to the Brandywine River Museum so I could see his work and that of his father, N.C. Wyeth. A framed print of "Groundhog Day" hung in our kitchen where I would look at it every day and study the intricate color, texture and detail.
This past weekend I was thrilled to participate in the fifth annual Plein Air event to benefit the Chadds Ford Historical Society. The event provides such a unique experience!
It was a bitter cold weekend which made painting challenging. But I didn't mind... I had great winter gear to keep me warm and I was so enthused and inspired to be painting in Wyeth's country. At the suggestion of one of the Historical Society members, I ventured up Wylie Road and I was so glad I did! This beautiful red barn with classic white pillars appeared around a bend. It was perfect.
It took several "drive bys" to find a safe place to park just down from the barn. There was barely enough room to plant myself and my easel off the road but I managed.
As I painted the sheep and goats came over to check me out. I loved them!
The deep overhang of the barn's forebay created rich shadows and the texture of the weathered wood and stone were revealed in the midday sun. The view looking through the underside of the barn intrigued me - the stark contrast of shadow and the brightness of the plastered stone columns. I thought about this barn and the hands that had built it, the many seasons it had endured. The extreme weathered boards were so interesting in the sun, their texture catching the light. I especially loved the little worn path the sheep and goats had made in their daily grazing habits.
The subtle greens and golds beneath winter's dull grasses hinted of spring's impending arrival. For now, there was rest. And time to think, to reflect.