Handy's Wheel      Watercolor

Handy's Wheel struck me as a possibility when my family visited an elderly couple's farm near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Patrick County, Virginia. Mr. Handy let my two sons ride his pony and look for arrowheads in his garden, while I looked for watercolor subject matter. This tree was pruned and gnarled, and it looked as if it had battled the harsh winters of this mountainous area for some years. The elements constantly challenge things on a farm such as this? the grinding wheel has collapsed since this painting was finished? but it is just this quality of weathered change that keeps me returning again and again to such a farm in search of new material. The "image" of this lone tree near the grinding wheel struck me, and it is this first "atmospheric" impression that I use to guide me to the finish. This mental impression exactly pictures what I'm trying to achieve, and the process from then on is trying to achieve this goal on paper.

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