Dairy Farm Series
Winter trees appear to be elongated, skeletal female figures that twist and reach upward. Boney and rigid, graceful yet awkward. They are vulnerably bare and cold, all the while possessing a promise of life. Many of the trees belong to the dairy farm where my father was raised. They are witnesses to the past and seem to whisper what they have seen. This land of hard labor and hard hands, which once provided sustenance for a family of nine, is now at rest.
I began to add imagery of the farm and one sole female worker set in a landscape that is quiet and still. Her lonely existence of ongoing labor and daily chores maintains lives and fills each day with set priorities, leaving no time or energy for egocentricity. The most recent paintings were inspired by my father-in-law's crops and cows. Both subjects owe their existence to his strong hands and unwavering work-ethic.
My sister, April, was my model. She is now a missionary to a small village in Papua New Guinea and, ironically, her life is similar to the life she portrayed for these paintings.
I choose to cover the surface of the each canvas with either torn magazine pages or newsprint to provide a rough, rippled texture to contribute to the weathered mood.