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Monday, June 23, 2008

The Fields Project, Oregon, Illinois




I've spent the last eight days in Oregon, Illinois as part of The Fields Project. It's been organized for about ten years. For me it was an opportunity to do some plein air painting out on the local farmland. You spend a week at the home of a local farmer (at no cost!!!) I had an excellent time, met and developed friendships with several of the people and farmers there and swallowed an untold number of insects while painting -- they seem to fly right into your open mouth unmercifully. When I look around for my soon to be painting, I don't care whether it's in the sun or shade, so I wound up in the sun a little too much. By Thursday I was doing watercolors sitting down. Hey, I'm just a city kid and not used to standing in the hot sun for hours and hours. The 2009 Fields Project in already being planned (see their website). On the easel (or pochade box), are two of my 8 X 10s. This is a nice opportunity to get together with other plein air painters as well.

4 comments:

Pochade.co.uk said...

is that a cup of tea on the pochade box?!! great photo.

Slim Johnson said...

Indeed it is a cup of tea. I was painting in the hot sun and the farm owner, John Croft, came along with two cups of ice tea for me. The farmers here are just the most generous and kind people I have ever met. Thanks for stopping by.

Lynn Dykstra said...

I am so glad you are doing this documentation of farm buildings and fields. Farm practices are changing and corn fields now have more than twice as many plants than 20 years ago. No new barns are build, and few are maintained, so landscape is changing.
The white building is a corn crib and granary. The parts of the building with open areas between the boards are sections for storing ear corn. The air could circulate. The closed areas are for storing oats and other small grains. The door (which are really fun to ride on when you are about 8) slide on wheels and the center area is used for storage of wagons/tractors/grinders.

Slim Johnson said...

Lynn: As usual you are my expert consultant on all things farm related. While I was in Oregon, IL and thereabouts driving past farms and barns there were many collapsed buildings with no hope of being repaired to their former glory. I left art school with the intention of being a portrait and landscape painter. I'm not sure how I will proceed after this experience. The farm life is something appealing to me and I know I will continue to paint them.