Arkansas Farm depicts what used to be grandparent’s farm outside of Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. This painting is a 2’ by 3’ acrylic painting on a raised, wooden panel. This is only the second painting that I have done on a wooden panel, and my first landscape on wood. Arkansas Farm is a continuation of a large body of work of paintings and photography about the farm. Watch the video for more about that.
From the beginning I wanted to utilize the hard surface in ways that I have not been able to do with canvas, so after the first coats of gesso I only used palette knifes and wire brushes to paint with. I also used marble dust for texture and chalk and oil pastels for highlights.
I wanted to paint the land itself, not the crops. The uniform greens and yellows of the crops give way after harvest to every shade of beige and the texture of the land itself.
This dirt road had its own character as well. Parts of it would never change and others area would shift as the tractors came in and out of the fields.
My grandfather could remember when all of this land had been covered with trees. Long before it was farmland Native Americans hunted here. My grandfather picked up hundreds of arrowheads over the years. The trees in the background of this painting line the Cache River. This area was probably a hunting ground for them, but there is also a story that a battle had been fought here.