I’m not sure when my obsession with old barns and windmills began. I remember an art project that I did back in middle school that centered on a barn in a pasture. I painted a watercolor of the picture; the barn was a weathered shade of red and a field of beautiful orange, yellow, and red flowers surrounded it. It was such a serene picture of summer, and I was very proud of it. I believe it is still hanging in my parents’ home.
That was probably the beginning of it all. After that point, I drew barns in charcoal, ink pen, and graphite. I even did more watercolors of various barn photos I’d find. Then I started to take pictures of barns myself. Growing up just north of Madison county, Iowa, there was no shortage of old barns to photograph. I recall many lunch hours spent driving around the countryside, finding the perfect barn to fill my camera frame.
My obsession continues today. I still photograph barns as often as I can. I have taken quite a few rides on the back of our motorcycle, brandishing a camera to catch pictures as we cruise across the landscape. I am just fascinated by all of their different shapes and textures and colors…even the paintings that some have on the side of them.
Of course, I like to bring my obsession into my home as a picture into my personality and character. Which leads me to ask the question, how much barn is too much barn? I have several photographs that I can proudly display on the walls and shelves. I have accumulated barnwood frames and trinkets through the years that can be included in my home décor. And then, of course, there is barnwood furniture that is scattered throughout my dining room, living room, and bedroom. I guess all of those hints of barn give a pretty accurate reading on how I feel about those old structures. Maybe I’m even overdoing it. One of these days I’ll figure out just how much barn is too much barn. I don’t believe I’ve reached that point yet.