restEddy designs - Fine Art Prints and Greeting Cards

The James Homestead
©2012, 20" by 16", Watercolour

This painting is a very personal one for me, as it's of the farm that my father grew up on.

The James Homestead in a frame

"The James Homestead" in one of our Signature Frames. This authentic barnwood frame was custom matted and built by the artist. It measures 28" by 24", and the print is 20" by 16"

The James Homestead is in the Lanark area of Ontario, and was in the James family from 1883 to 1959. Although it's no longer in the family, it still holds a sentimental place in the hearts of many family members.

The intent was to paint the farm as it appeared in the 1950's so, to do this, I worked with the following photographs and images:

The James Homestead in the 1980's

This painting borrows most heavily from the following photograph that was provided by my cousin Bobbie Corrigan. The picture was taken in the mid-80's, and shows all of the buildings and out-buildings that make up the farm. Obviously, not all are original (like the silo), and others have changed (like the farmhouse), so I had to make changes them to make them appear as they had been thirty years earlier.

What really drew me to this picture were the wagon tracks leading through the field towards the farmhouse, as well as the hint of a fence in the foreground (although I couldn't quite figure out how it was the path lead right through the fence without a gate).

I asked my father about it. He remembers the path as being the one that they used to pull the wagon along to get to the back fields. He said that there might have been a wooden gate there originally, but it was also possible that the wire was simply rolled back to pass through.

This is the only real artistic license I took with the painting. I decided that I wanted to put a wooden gate in the foreground to give the painting some real depth, and I found the answer I needed in an old photograph:

The James Homestead in the 1950s

This photograph, taken in 1957, shows part of the barn, with the farmhouse and garage (in its original position) on the hill. There's a lot of tiny little details of interest in this black and white image (like the laundry stand beside the garage that my Grandmother would use, or the ladder on the side of the barn that my Grandfather would climb to get on top of a load of hay before it was hoisted up into the loft), but the one that caught my eye was the open wooden gate to the right of the barn.

This was the proof that I needed that there was at least one wooden gate in use on the farm in the 50's - surely I could get away with putting another one so prominently in my painting?

The young boy running up the road was a last minute addition to the painting. When I had about half of the field completed, the idea to add the figure occurred to me and, with a lot of help from my brother Brent and some old family pictures that he sent me, I was able to dress the boy exactly as my father would have been dressed in the era.

The boy gives a human element to the painting, and now whenever I see him, I can't help but imagine that somebody at the house is ringing the dinner bell calling my father home.

The James Homestead, painting, barns, farmhouse, old fence, running boy
Click on the image to see a larger, uncropped version
To purchase your copy of The James Homestead, choose an option below, select it from the drop down list, and click Add to Cart. You will be connected to the PayPal site where you can either complete the transaction, or continue shopping.
Signed Prints Greeting Cards
20" x 16" 14" x 11" 10" x 8" 7" x 5" Single Pkg of 4
$40.00 $20.00 $15.00 $10.00 $3.00 $10.00

Please Note: These prices DO NOT include shipping and handling fees.