Barns. Rural cathedrals and simple sheds, reminders of a life connected to the land. It was the type of farming that determined the type of barn that would be built. Log barns, stone foundations, shingled barns, clapboard barns, cribbed barns-painted, unpainted, windowed or windowless. The designs were influenced by local materials and cultural influence. Roofs progressed from thatch to wood shingles, than asphalt and now sheet metal. Walls were often vertically boarded while crib barns and sheds were installed horizontally. A barn might be left unpainted but more often it would be covered in red oxide paint. This paint was common and inexpensive. It was made by the farmer from iron red oxide in the soil, linseed oil from the flax crop and casein from their dairy cattle.
The intrigue of painting barns is witnessed by the number of painters who have chosen them as subject matter. To the painter’s eye these buildings are first seen as form in space. Then as shadows, light, texture and color. Window and door placement provide decorative design. Proximity and distance to the structure define the barn as either a portrait or as an element in a landscape. Finally, the mood is set with color, tone and brushwork.
Other featured paintings range from prominent white barns rendered in layers using a painting knife, low structures and rusty roofed barns done in textural brushwork and simple sheds painted in softly subdued tones. The artists, Lynne and John Seitzer have represented a diverse variety of barns some dynamic and others as pleasant reminders of their previous life. The exhibit ‘Barns. Rural cathedrals and simple sheds ‘is on view at Joy To The Wind Gallery for the month of September. 34 Atlantic Avenue ,Boothbay Harbor. 207 633 7025.