Acrylic, chalk, and oil pastel on cradled wood panel
24 H x 36 W x 1.5 in
61 H x 91 W x 4 cm
Arkansas Farm depicts my grandparent’s farm from my youth on the outskirts of Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. It is a continuation of a multi-decade body of work of paintings and photography about the farm. Watch the video for more about that.
This painting is a 2’ by 3’ acrylic painting on a cradled wooden panel, and it was my first painting on a large wood surface. From the beginning I wanted to utilize the hardness of the surface in ways that canvas doesn’t allow. Using only palette knifes and wire brushes to paint with, I alternated between flat, creamy smooth paint under the palette knife to forcefully hitting the canvas with the wire brush. I also used marble dust for texture and chalk and oil pastels for highlights.
During the winter the uniform greens and yellows of the crops gave way to every shade of beige and brown. This dirt road had its own character as well. Parts of it seemed to never change while others would shift and change as the tractors came in and out of the fields over the season.
My grandfather could remember when all of this land had been covered with trees. Long before it was farmland Native Americans hunted on this land. My grandfather picked up hundreds of arrowheads over the years. He would be plowing the field for atop his tractor see an arrowhead and stop to pick it up. The trees int the distance line the Cache River and this area was likely a hunting ground, but there was also a story passed down that a battle had been fought here.