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"Covered in Green" by Linda Kinney

Summer Category

One day some friends and I were talking, when someone mentioned that I had been given a talent to paint. Sue asked to see some of my paintings and as often happens, she started telling me about her childhood, where she grew up on a 100-acre farm in Michigan. She told me stories about working and playing there with her many siblings and friends. Then she asked if I would like to come to her home and see her photos on the computer. She suggested that maybe I would like to paint some of them, something with a story, a memory in her life. Many times people have sent me pictures with this same intention.


Of course, I couldn’t turn down an opportunity to see pictures of Michigan. I had been there once as a child and a few times as an adult, both in summer and winter. I know how beautiful it is. Sue and I looked at many photos that day, but when she came to this one, the trees and barn caught my curiosity. I asked her specifically about the old barn and she told me some of her memories. Then she offered me the photo. Two of my favorite subjects to paint are old buildings and trees. The wooden boards, worn and splintered, cracked and broken are filled with such beautiful colors; looking closely one can almost see all the colors of a rainbow. And the same is true of the trees, its leaves and every part of it. Everything that lives is filled with brilliant color and never truly dies. Its purpose just changes. It is a magnificent thought that not so many years ago, this old barn was a tree. Life is so interesting. It was home for squirrels, bugs, birds and possibly grew acorns that matured and became food for the squirrels. Now the tree is a barn and has had many purposes through the years, I suspect. Many products were produced on Sue’s family farm, but the huge garden was a mainstay. By the end of canning season, this old barn contained rows of organized and labeled jars packed full of Mom’s vegetables, fruit, preserves, sauces and pickles, while the potatoes were kept in the cool dugout under the floorboards.


My imagination comes alive when I paint, and especially as “Covered in Green”, a 16" x 20" (40.64 x 50.80 cm) oil painting displayed itself onto the canvas. I could almost hear the children laughing and playing, climbing the trees, and having fun as carefree children do. There is a familiar children’s story book titled ‘Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin’. The characters lived on a 100-acre wood. This painting reminds me of that story. Many children have imaginary friends and I wonder if any were there during those years with Sue.