Saturday, December 31, 2016

Last Barn 2016 or First Barn 2017

Last Barn Study  5 x 7 pastel

Hard to believe it is time for the 30 Paintings in 30 Days again. This will be my seventh time doing the challenge. I have not planned a theme and am not sure where this one will take me.

Driving back from Toronto I took hundreds of pictures of farms and fields. At one point Walter said, "I wonder why barns are painted red?" so I googled "Why are... " that is as far as I typed before up  popped "Why are barns painted red?" Did it know I was photographing barns, some of which were red? Did it hear us talking?

Why are barns red?

Centuries ago, European farmers would seal the wood on their barns with an oil, often linseed oil -- a tawny-colored oil derived from the seed of the flax plant. They would paint their barns with a linseed-oil mixture, often consisting of additions such as milk and lime. The combination produced a long-lasting paint that dried and hardened quickly. 
  • Wealthy farmers added blood from a recent slaughter to the oil mixture. As the paint dried, it turned from a bright red to a darker, burnt red.
  • Farmers added ferrous oxide, otherwise known as rust, to the oil mixture. Rust was plentiful on farms and is a poison to many fungi, including mold and moss, which were known to grown on barns. These fungi would trap moisture in the wood, increasing decay.

Happy New Year!

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