Saturday, November 12, 2016

Clearing the Fencerows

© 2016 Robin Edmundson, Clearing the fencerows, burning the bales, watercolor, 9x12

I've been painting these bales for a while.  Here's a previous version.  I think this one is an improvement.

I like working on this series for a lot of reasons.  They are limited palette studies - this version is Indigo, Raw Umber and Quin Burnt Orange.  The scene is really atmospheric, which is always a challenge.   The bales are quintessentially rural and I love painting rural.   These studies always stop people in their tracks, because ... What's going on here?

That's a good question.   Hay is common, but burning hay?   Not so much.

Bales of hay are often set along fence rows and treelines for convenience.  They're usually at the edges of a hay field and they're easy enough to set, then retrieve for the cows in the next field through the winter.   If they're left more than a year, they start to rot and they're no good for feed, but they make pretty fences.

These bales had been left for years - probably when the property changed hands.   A winter or so ago, the new owner decided to clear the line and combine smaller fields into a larger one with better access.  We came upon a long line of bales smoking in the snow.  It was spectacular to see 50 or so bales smoldering away.   It took a few days for them to burn down completely.

I'll be doing a couple more of these.  They're fun.   Maybe the next one will be a portrait instead of a landscape.

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