“The Corn Crib” 8″x 10″ Oil on canvas – $175
Corn cribs have a long history. First used by Native Americans as a way to dry corn and keep it safe from pests. This kind of corn was later used for animal feed. Most of the existing corn cribs have slatted sides and a “keystone” frame with gabled or shed roofs. Earlier versions were constructed out of logs. Some have wire netting for ventilation instead of the slat sides. There’s an entire history online about corn cribs if you want to learn more.
This plein-air landscape captures a corn crib although I didn’t know that’s what it was when I saw it. In heading out one morning to paint I was driving around part of New Jersey in an area where there are many farms and I noticed this farmstead. I pulled over took a look and then decided to keep on driving. About 10 minutes later I was still thinking about the location and turned around.
After setting up my gear and working for an hour or so while enjoying the open land and quiet, a woman pulled up and got out of her car. She introduced herself and began telling me that was her mother’s farm and that her mom who is 98 still lived there. We had a nice chat and I learned she grew up in the area and lived in the house next to where I was standing. We exchanged contact information, she took a snapshot of the painting to share with her mom. Later that afternoon I received an email letting me know the building I was painting was a corn crib along with a link to information. I was excited to hear more about the farm and then did a little research on corn cribs for my own interest.
What I really liked about the building was the keystone shape opening a characteristic of corn cribs. The structure did have a foundation that I didn’t depict as part of the base of the crib but it was there. It was such a lovely structure and setting all around. A beautiful sensibility seemed to filter through the area along with a sense of time and tradition. Upon reflection I think that may have been the underlying current that prompted me to turn around to capture this on canvas.
There’s magic in exploration and being open to not always knowing where I’m going. That’s how I felt at the end of this day and I hope that came through in the painting. I’m truly grateful to be experiencing the vast farmland in New Jersey that I have access to it just makes me feel at home for some reason. I’ve never lived on a farm but perhaps in a prior life I did. Who knows!