The Hay Whisperers
another warm day,
but not just another barn.
Many many years ago, I lived in the abandoned general store in Muddy Creek Forks.
Across from my studio in the attic, were two very old children’s dress mannequins.
I painted them in their postured attitude and titled it, “Even the dressforms aren’t speaking”.
It reminds me of these two old souls.
Having come to rest, and ruminate, on opposite sides of the barn,
their afternoon of gentle roaming was deceptively still.
When I searched back through the hundreds of reference photos taken of this barn,
those two creatures were never in the same place twice.
The working elements inside this wooden structure were meticulously ordered.
Every single tool and tackle stored with precision.
The hay bales were aligned with the rafters, and even the sunlight played by the caretaker’s rules.
I wanted to convey that context,
but, when framed within the solid post and beam timbers,
it made for a rigid composition.
Until I looked closer,
and saw what elegant havoc the weather was playing on the rafters,
the finely honed scarrings of the broad-axed posts,
the randomness of those snaggle-toothed carvings that were left at the feeding troughs,
and, in the distance,
the tender gesture of the leaning water buckets.
Oh the beauty
of a patina of chaos.