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Silos and Beans

With three weeks away from the farm I was eager to see all the changes
taking place. The high grass-covered fields were cut and hayed and
white plastic-wrapped hay bales dotted the horizon. Sarah was filling
the truck for market when I arrived. I weighed green beans and snap
peas for the CSAs and market while baby Charlotte looked on
contentedly sitting on the floor in a plastic potato bin. She’s a
perfect farm baby! I wished to drive to market in the truck with Sarah
but I was there to paint. Since it was raining, I worked in the barn,
a place I had been interested in painting; it seemed it was meant to
be. There were several cows being “dryed up” in the barn below me and
as I painted I listened to their low moans and bellows. I also painted
to the sounds of grunting pigs that were in a stall next to me. Such a
strange symphony to paint to and, after hours of listening, I turned
to my headphones; it was intense and a bit sad!
My next day out I spent in the fields watching and painting the
movement of bodies picking green beans. There is no stillness . . . I
drew and painted and found I loved the pace and randomness of the
drawings I created. I could have stayed and made hundreds of these
little studies.
Also- On one of these days, I met a photographer, Michael Ferry, who
is taking photos for the project. It was great to meet someone
spending a bit of time as an observer and as a stranger to the farm. I
told him that I heard you can get a really great photo from the top of
the silo but also that it can be dangerous and a little nerve racking
climbing to the top. Michael didn’t hesitate. He climbed up once with
one camera and then again with another.