Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Tale of Two Paintings

For the last several days the weather has been rainy, windy and gloomy.  It's a good thing I mowed the Back Eight last week since we've had too much rain to do the chore now; I'd get stuck.  Over the weekend there were horrendous thunderstorms producing tornadoes and destruction across the Midwest. 

The winds were very high the last few days, stripping the last of the leaves from Willie.
 For awhile the driveway was a beautiful yellowish mosaic of Willie leaves until the wind blew them into the next county.  I won't have to rake this year.   (Not that I ever really do.)

 I did hear one of the meteorologists on TV say some of the storm damage could be attributed to a possible 'derecho' or straight-line wind storm.  (Check out the link, it's pretty fascinating.)

A few months ago I was poking around in a local Goodwill store looking for a good-sized frame in the donated picture area.  I came across this hand-painted scene of a 'derecho':

Better hurry, that's a scary sky.
The price was right, $6.  And of course, I had to have it, I mean, it's a farm scene.  Complete with horses, a farmstead, a windmill and a lot of lightning and wind.  The painting is signed M. Johnson '57 and it was done in oil.

 I think the painting I bought may have been M. Johnson's rendition of the painting:  "The Line Storm," by John Steuart Curry, 1897-1946,  possibly inspired by the approach of a derecho-producing storm.

John Steuart Curry painting
I remember baling hay when I was a kid and racing home with a loaded wagon when a storm was approaching.  The last thing a farmer needs is wet hay after all the work it took to cut, rake and get it dry, baled and loaded.  

I never saw a sky that menacing, thank goodness, but I've been on an open tractor when lightning was too close for comfort.  It's an adrenaline rush like no other when you're driving a tractor trying to go fast, but not too fast, because you don't want to lose the load of hay you're towing. 

 I cannot imagine what it must have been like to handle a team of terrified horses, though I know my dad often spoke of it since this was the way they did haying before tractors were used on the farm. 

Every time I pass that painting in our hallway, I swear I can smell the freshly baled hay and the rain in the air and it brings back memories, both good and bad.

It was worth the six bucks.




FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Great little fine. Boy, I sure wouldn't want to be running from that storm in the other painting. Oh my, how scarey.

Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

Junebug said...

I love the painting but I don't ever want to be in one of those storms. Even in Oregon we must hurry to get the hay in before the rains! Nothing better then fresh cut hay! enjoy your week and stay dry!!!

outlawgardener said...

What a cool find! Thanks for the interesting information and a new word for my vocabulary. May you enjoy your new painting for many years to come!

Alison said...

I love shopping at thrift stores! You got a good deal on that painting. I heard about the crazy weather in the Midwest over the weekend. Scary.

Pamela Gordon said...

I really like the painting you found and it certainly looks similar to the other one. Grandma Moses also did a painting of a farmer bringing in a load of hay with an encroaching thunder storm. We have a print of it somewhere. The storms in the mid-west were really terrible!