Abandoned Farm

"Abandoned Farm"
oil on canvas

I took a photo of this farm near Black River Falls, Wisconsin in early April a few years ago. I was attracted by the monotone colors of an overcast day during the dormant season.

I started out with the idea that I would only use large brushes on this painting in hopes of painting nothing but loose brushstrokes. I got so intrigued with the barn and fence that I couldn’t help but paint all the detail.

Tomorrow is going to be a warm day in Wisconsin, almost 38 degrees so I will try my luck at plein air painting and only bring large brushes, Ok maybe one sort of smallish medium brush. By the way, this painting is 5x7. I still haven't figured out how to put the size under my paintings.


  1. Thanks Kurt! Boy are you fast, I just posted this.

  2. Carol this is 5x7? WOW it reads bigger than that! I love all the details because they are precise yet not overbearing. And how did you manage such lovely edges? Love it!

    To put the size under painting? I simply change the alignment of the text (just for that one line) to "center". Then when I'm ready to type in my content I change my alignment to "left". I hope I'm helpful and didn't confuse you more.

    Looking forward to your plein air piece. Oh man that's warm! Better take your umbrella hahaha!

  3. Erika - Thanks, I will try adding sizes in my next post.

    As far as edges it's real easy. I use an a Italian painting knife. The longest narrow one with a fine tip works great. Just pick up a small amount of paint on the very edge then touch the canvas with it and you get a fine line. For the fence I used thin acetate cut in different length and did the same thing. I even like the acetate better for trees than the knife because you can bend them.

    I have Richard Schmids Alla Prima book and he discusses edges a lot and the use of painting knives in paintings.

  4. Thanks Carol I have that book I love Schmid! I haven't had a chance to finish it though, so I must pursue that goal!

  5. Carol, nice piece. It reminds me of putting on an old familiar pair of comfortable shoes; worn with age but so good on the foot.

    It's hard to let go of the desire to add more detail. Is it our drive to "get it right" ?

    In any case, love the painting.

  6. Blair - Thanks for checking my blog again. You might have something there about getting it right. Glad you love my painting!

  7. Another beautiful landscape, the birch tree really makes it too. Great job!

  8. Oooh. I love that barn painting. Really captures the mood and lighting. I feel like I'm there.

  9. Great painting! I like the mood of a limited palette piece.