One of the questions that people ask me the most is "do you have a favourite?" The favourite they are referring to is a painting, one of almost fifteen hundred that I have created over the last six years. The answer is usually "No, but I can probably pick 15 to 20."
The answer might be different now as I stumbled into a painting that I both love AND have an emotional attachment to.
This interpretation of this solitary grain elevator followed on the heels of my lighthouse painting, another new favourite.
The lighthouse connected with people from the east coast immediately in a way that I had not seen in a long time. These welcoming, guiding edifices meant so much to the sailors and their families. And the painting captures the majesty and mystique that they inherently exude. I immediately began to wonder what edifice would do the same for prairie people.
As I look at this elevator, perched adjacent to a golden field and a vibrant sky, I am immediately taken back home to where I grew up in Kamsack, Saskatchewan. At one time, in the early 1980s, we had 11 of these along Railway Street, just a couple of blocks from our house. In the proceeding years, they got torn down, forever changing the skyline of our little town.
I think of a lot of things as I look at this painting. I think of the fields of wild grass and grain that played host to thousands of grasshoppers, gophers and other critters. I think of the farming work ethic of rolling the dice with Mother Nature and hoping for a bumper crop, though ready to respond if things don't grow so well. I think of those beautiful prairie skies and the surprises they offer up in all four seasons. Mostly, I think of home, and memories of growing up in a small prairie town.