Thursday, July 19, 2012

"Springhouse in Shadow", 11x14, oil on linen-, Vixen Hill Farm, paintings of springhouse, Maryanne Jacobsen art

"Springhouse in Shadow", 11x14, oil on linen

It's funny, but since I have returned home from our short trip to Chester County, Pennsylvania, I have realized that my normal palette of impressionist colors aren't quite sufficient in painting these old fieldstone structures.

A palette of burnt sienna, yellow ochre, raw sienna and  raw umber would definitely have been helpful to have had on hand for the tones in the stonework of this old springhouse, but since I rarely use these colors I had to mix them myself. After a little trial and error, I finally got some good earth tones on my palette and was able to complete this painting.

This springhouse was not only charming to look at, it provided the water for our cottage while we stayed at Vixen Hill farm. The water was cold and pure, absolutely delightful! I was a little concerned because there has evidently been a drought up there and the water levels were very low every where that we went, including the spring outside our cottage, but upon tasting it I knew it was perfect. If only I could have taken some home with me!

Here is the reference photo of the springhouse that i used:

I loved the slice of light down the center contrasted against all the shadow patterns and knew this would make a good composition!

I was surprised to learn how many people have no idea what a springhouse is! Having lived for many years in Chester county where there seems to be a springhouse around every corner, I had no idea that they were  rather 'foreign' in other areas of the country!  (sort of like what Santa Fe's adobe structures would be to northeasterners!)So in case you are clueless, a springhouse is/was a small stone structure that a natural spring ran through. The combination of the cold water and thick stone created a naturally cold environment, and before modern refrigeration had been invented farmers and settlers used the spring house as a storehouse for their root vegetables and other perishable foods.

 For more info about Vixen Hill farm, just go back and read my most recent posts!

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1 comment:

Sondra Van Huss said...

Just stumbled on to your blog/website and have to say I love your work with all the vibrant colors and sense of joy with life!