"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Fence From The Past

One of my projects during the last few weeks was a painting for a show for the Shelby County Historical Society. The show, which goes up in September, is called "Between Fences" and explores the "Fences" that people put up in their lives - literally and figuratively. The historical society built 22 picket fences, 36" high and 16" wide, and asked local artists to paint or decorate them using the "fences" theme. The artists are also supposed to compose a paragraph which talks about their fences. Following is my paragraph and the decorated fence that accompanies it is shown above. After I drew the hollyhocks and bluebird on paper, a dear friend, Rose Hawkins, cut them out of paneling using a ban saw. After I painted them, I attached them to the fence with construction adhesive, and then painted some more leaves directly to the fence.

"A Fence From The Past"

I have entitled my entry "A Fence From The Past." We look to the past as an idyllic time with no problems...when everyone had chicken on Sundays and apple pies cooling in the open windows during the dog days of summer. While this image is beautiful, we all know that in many ways the past was no different from today, and in some ways worse, with prejudice, unfair labor practices and many other social woes. I designed my fence to represent the ideal picket fence from 100 years ago, with the bluefird of happiness and the hollyhocks we remember from fence rows at our grandmother's houses. Yes, the hollyhocks and the bluebirds existed, but unfortunately, the idyllic world we associate with that time, didn't. Thus, fences that were barriers to happiness, withe multitudes of social problems, existed then... and now.


Ginny Stiles said...

Bless Ruth Hawkins. She cut these out with a band saw? You've got to be kidding. So what was the material she cut it out of? And did you do these with acrylic? The three dimension is really not done justice in the photo but now that I see you did some leaves on the fence I can sort of see it. Wow. this is amazing! And what a wonderful idea!!! How will they be displayed? Is this an indoor exhibit or did you have to make this weather durable so it could be displayed outside? Were you juried in? In other words did you send in your idea and have it accepted? Will these be judged in anyway?

Barbara Sailor said...

Rose is a genius on the band saw - she is a master woodworker, artist, seamstress, cook ......do you get the picture - Rose can do anything! We went to college together and she actually introduced me to my husband. We are long time friends. She cut it out of thin wood paneling in two pieces which fit together like a jig-saw puzzle. I painted it in acrylics and plan to spray it with satin polyurethane spray before I take it to the historical society. They didn't say they had to be weather durable and I have some questions about the paneling being so, but perhaps it will be safe on a porch, or a protected area. They will not be juried in but they will be auctioned off during the Sidney Applefest in September and the proceeds will go to the historical society. They will be on display in the historical society building. I am hoping someone will want my offering:) I haven't seen any of the others, so I don't know how this one stands up compared to the rest - I could be in for a shock! teehee!