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Rural Connecticut

 

 
The Work

of

Randall Gardner

 

 


Waisil's Place
Waisil Korzek was an elderly gentleman that I came to know many 
years ago. He had inherited his father's farm in Griswold, CT and was doing 
his best to keep it up.When I showed up on the doorstep and explained that I 
was an artist, that I loved his farm and just wanted do photo shoots for my
 paintings Waisil gave me the full run of his place. I spent hours crawling 
though haylofts and into forgotten rooms of the two old barns that once 
kept the old place active. No one cared about them any more. Even to 
Waisil they were more of a burden to be looked after. The farm had 
long ago fallen into disuse but he seemed to enjoy my coming 
around and making a fuss over his beautiful farm in rural 
Connecticut.   
Property of Mr and Mrs. David Tarbet


 The Upper Stable

12 X 16

Acrylic on Panel

 

             There is a beautiful New England farm out in rural Connecticut. We camp nearby and I have become friends with Waisil Korzek and his sister Mary who once lived there. Waisil worked the farm for three decades after his father died but eventually all the cows were sold or slaughtered one at a time. The last cow had been gone 15 years and the upper stable was closed. The door was braced shut from the outside and the grass grew up around it. But inside the barn I found an old feeding door and let myself into this forgotten place. I literally crawled through a wall of cobwebs, and stepped into a space that was frozen in time. And there was silence…deafening silence.  The rusted barrel stood in the corner, still tilted just right in the hay so the farmer could get at the grain.  A long forgotten ladder lay where the cows once stood.  An era had passed into history but the echoes of that time were still here.  The lowing of cattle, the rustle of hay and the warmth of an old cow barn, it was a simpler time.

 

 

Safekeeping

16 X 20

Acrylic on Panel
NFS

            Farmers rarely throw things away. “After all, you never know when you might need that!” The two hundred year-old barn on Waisil’s place was full of all manner of things that were saved aside for over two centuries. Rare vintage bottles, numerous old horseshoes hung on square nails up in the rafters, and a set of cast iron scales was stored below the bench.  But there, in the end of the barn, carefully hung as if they might some day be needed again, was an old scale weight, a length of hauling chain, and a set of horse harnesses. The old farmer who set them aside has long since gone to meet his Maker. But they hang there still, patiently waiting, kept right where he put them for “safekeeping."

 

 

1833

8 X 10

Acrylic on Panel
$1000 (framed)

            Each of the doors of the 1833 barn on Waisil’s place is at least 15 feet high and 8 feet across. The farmer’s access to the barn was through a simple wooden door cut in one of the large ones. From the moment I saw the door latch I loved everything about it. It has gone through countless changes and repairs over its 175 years of existence. The original hasp and hand-forged staple no longer line up, but it doesn’t matter. It still works to just drop the hasp down behind the hand-carved peg. I am sure one could repair the old door with new lumber and a fancy modern lock, but a new one would not compare to the aged, weathered beauty that has so wonderfully mellowed since 1833                                                

 

 

 

 

Easterly

12 X 16

Acrylic on Panel

Sold to a Physician in Burlington, Vermont

at the

Art in the Round Barn Show

I rarely take suggestions for subject matter but this painting was the exception. After finishing Hudson’s Remedy, from the “inside out,” my wife, Sharon, suggested I do another painting from the “outside in.” I went back to my photo workup and immediately recognized the detail and contrast potential. The harsh Nor’easters of winter, the sun- baked days of summer had burned character into the old barn’s rugged, weather-checked face. Light and shadow did a quiet, slow dance as the sun rose through a bright morning sky and illuminated the east side.

 

Detail from Easterly

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Subpages (1): More Rural Connecticut