Monday, October 5, 2009

Wildness Takes Over

Purple Haze. Oil on canvas, 8x10

I have a thing about abandoned houses, especially ones I drive past or walk past, day after day. I construct lives for them, families and dogs, landscaping, decorations. As vines grow over them, and windows break, as roofs sag and paint chips and thins and fades, wistfulness grows in me, and the buildings seem to take on more life, not less.

This is a house on Route 17K, just outside Montgomery, N.Y. It's more abandoned than it looks in my painting. There's a big hole in the roof, and in front of the house stand the remains of a sign that once offered the house and its land for sale.

Even as the house sinks into its demise, and the yard grows up around it, it's taken on a wild sort of beauty, a harmony of color and chaos and the way of the world.

There's a song by Kate Wolf that I've always liked, "Carolina Pines," and that song ran through my heart as I made this painting.

Here are the lyrics; it's a pretty, pretty song:

Carolina Pines
Just an old house with the roof fallin' in
Standin' on the edge of the field
Watching the crops grow like its always done before
Nobody lives here anymore

The sun's going down on the Carolina pines
I'm a long way from home
I miss that love of mine broken windows empty doors
Nobody lives here anymore

Old memories come whistling like the wind
Through the walls and the cracked window panes
And the grass is growing high around the kitchen door
Nobody lives here anymore

Once there were children and a few hired hands
A hard working woman and a bone tired man
Now that old sun steals across a dusty floor
Nobody lives here anymore


JudyMackeyart said...

Beautiful, beautiful painting!! I like abandoned homes too. One wonders what stories they held and why no one lives there anymore.

I don't know the song but the lyrics are melancholic.

Art with Liz said...

Oh this is absolutely beautiful Carrie. Old houses have a mystique and magic about them and you've certainly caught that. Love the colours - so vibrant.

carrie jacobson said...

Thanks, Liz - so glad to find kindred souls out here in art land. I do love the old, decaying places, and how nature takes over.

carrie jacobson said...

Hey, Judy, thanks for the note. It's so nice to hear that other artists are drawn to these abandoned places. I do love them.

The song is really beautiful; you can probably find it on line somewhere. Kate Wolf was a California singer/songwriter who died very young from some sort of cancer. I don't know all her songs, but many of the ones I've heard really reach into my heart.