encaustic, print, copper on wood
I completed this painting around mid December just in time to give it as a gift to my sister and brother-in-law for their Christmas present. The Springhouse is an actual stone building on their property. A springhouse is a small building that was used for refrigeration. It is usually a one-room building constructed over the source of a spring. The water of the spring maintains a constant cool temperature inside the spring house throughout the year. I also learned that some people called them Milk Houses because they would put milk out there to keep cool.
I first saw this building last spring and took a photo of it. At that moment I knew I wanted to make a painting of it and I knew I wanted to incorporate some sort of metal as part of the painting. It was like a flash of a vision in my head all those months ago. But then life happened and it wasn't until almost December that I was able to actualize this vision from months ago. As I worked on it, I had to make adjustments to my original vision, but that's part of the process. It felt good to finally realize what I saw in my head that spring day.
Coming back east I am comforted by the sights of these old stone buildings I see as I drive around, getting my bearings on this region. I remember them from my childhood. I may not have thought much of them at the time, but now it's like they jog some sort of hidden memory. Their silent presence just feel familiar. And old buildings, yes, I wonder at the stories within the walls. The lives that went in and out of the doorways. Stone carry memory and presence. Ageless and ancient at the same time. I wanted to preserve this building at the moment that I encountered it in my artwork in a way that would speak to these qualities.
To give an idea of scale, here I am holding up the painting and talking about it.
the remains of a stone building in McLean, VA
How will we know it’s us without our past? -John Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath