Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hopper Barn

A large painting, 18x24 inches, oil on canvas, of the Haley Farm barn at the end of Hopper Road.  You can see the barn in the painting showing the whole Hopper area done a few days ago.  I was struck by the sunlight illuminating the barn, but also by the ladder going into the barn.  You can see the old truck on the left just above the cute old tractor.

I've been reading an essay by the poet Robert Hass on the landscape photographer Robert Adams.  Hass writes, "We live our lives, each of us with differing but usually deep attachments to place or to an idea of place, while forces larger than our lives are changing those places faster than we live them out.  There may be places in America... that have not changed much in our lifetime.  But for most Americans change and loss are part of the landscape we hold in mind and have anesthetized ourselves to.  Many of the forces of change have been destructive.  Some, at least, have made a possible life for people excluded from the pastoral romance of an earlier republic.  It's our task to make of this as we can what we can.  But first we have to be able to see it."

The Hopper is a locale that has changed much, but still gives the impression of being old and stable.  I spoke recently with a park ranger, who was on his day off and planning a quick hike up the Hopper trail.  He talked about the feeling of an old place evoked by the Hopper, but then he told me that the barn was fairly new, the old one having burned down.  New or old, there is so much to see.

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