Organizing old barn photography prints this week. I have a beautiful collection of images that sit on hard drives waiting for me to sort through them. All the photos are from the Midwest, mainly Wisconsin.
For that reason, I decided to pull out some of my country pictures and sort through them and do some “Nikki edits.” The images are meant to be shared, loved and enjoyed. Making myself a promise to try and list my favorites in the next few months.
Old Barn Photography Prints
If you have followed me for any length of time, you will know that I have a strong connection for capturing old barns and buildings. One never knows how long the building will be around. It is becoming more evident to me as I age. A building or barn that was there one year ago, isn’t today. Sad really, because the first settlers to our country built them. They are our history. They are our stories.
I am not sure why I photograph one barn over another, one building over another or stop for a certain farm piece over another. I was asked this question while driving the country roads with my daughter.
The best answer I can give is there is a connection. A feeling. A draw. If I do not feel an urge to photograph, I drive past. Believe me, some pulls are strong. They call me. Almost as if they have picked me. I am not picking them.
The best reward is when you connect with one of the structures or country art pieces to. I know instantly when a client is paging through my pieces and connects with a building or structure, as I did. There is a feeling the piece has invoked. A pause. A draw. They smile. They have been selected. The art has chosen them. Just as the building chose me to give it another life.
Almost 100 years of rain, sleet, snow and baking summer sun have taken it’s toll on this Wisconsin structure. Yet, she stands tall and strong in the sweet fields she calls home. Affirming her commitment to the land.
The current owner has preserve this classic style barn. Staying true to her original framework and even going as far as using the white washed paint technique from the period, when it time came to restore her timeless beauty.
This image adequately depicts the landscape of the country. When you own this piece of art, you will really enjoy it. An investment piece that will make you proud every time you gaze upon her. Making it difficult not to smile and feel the pride that went into building America strong and proud.
Dotted throughout the country side in the Midwest are barns donning beautiful hand painted barn quilts.
What is a barn quilt? Well, it isn’t a full size quilt. It is generally a single quilt block pattern painted onto a piece of wood that measures 8 feet. After they are painted they are hung on exteriors of barns and outside structures.
Barn quilt patterns vary. The majority are comprised of simple geometric shapes, like squares, rectangles and triangles. Some are creative. Telling a story. They honor your heritage.
Every farmer designs a barn for himself. They’re distinctive. Every barn is unique and built to fit a certain need. In the midwest, we see plenty of all stone or bottom stone barns. The stone was an easy choice for building material for our ancestors. As our families cleared and worked the land, they created stone piles.
The stone piles became an instant, free, source for building materials. They found that most stones from the area were flat on one side. The stone was used to build silos holding the farmers grains and in some cases an entire barn was constructed from stone.
Depending on the amount of stone available at the time the floors of the barn could have dirt floors. In many cases the barns had floors fashions out of stone. They would piece together a floor laying the rocks down, filling all the cracks with pebbles and sand and using mortar to tie the floor together.
I chuckled at the explaination my great -grandmother gave me. She told me that many of the settlers didn’t have the time, money or resources available for rock floors. They had dirt floors for their first homes, barns and outbuildings in the area. She stated that if you pack dirt down hard enough you could even sweep it clean. Good to know, right? Own this piece of art.
Barns, the equipment, and the old building practices that built the midwest are vanishing each day. Making way for new techniques, skills, methods and processes. Better, quicker, faster. While change is fundamental for progress – I just never want to forget what built us. The pride, blood, sweat and tears.
The sacrifices families made to get us where we are today. Long days and nights. Work weeks that didn’t stop at 40 hours. You were done when the work was done and complete. The work was never done. There was always something that needed to be completed.
The chances that were taken to give our generation each invention, that took us further from primitive living to modern day conveniences we have today. I feel some of that thought is slipping away and yet, it was not more than 100-150 years ago. Our great grandparents lived this life.
My mission, to keep the memories alive, through the old barn photography prints as well as sharing pieces of history. The advances seem small, when looked at separately. As a whole, they have greatly improved our lives.
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