Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Scythe Of Relief

The Scyther

Remember when I was talking about doing this painting of a guy haying in a field?  And I said how much I like to plan stuff?  Remember?  And I went how much fun it was to think up stuff, like, out of my head?  Remember?  And now here it, I mean he, no-- this painting is done.  Remember when I talked about it?

Well, here it is: The Scyther, oil on canvas 24X24 inches.  I was gonna call it The Scythist, but I thought it would sound a bit pretentious...

I had a blast with this one, I must admit.  I really got the whole idea for a composition when I saw an old photo of clouds I had taken on a lovely summer's afternoon.  I imagined my farmer silhouetted against those clouds as he swung his scythe through the weeds (which look remarkably like the ones in my field...). 

Speaking of clouds, they are a perfect opportunity to loosen up and go abstract.  If you think about it, clouds are just water vapor, and as such they can reflect and refract all kinds of light and color.  Really, you can put all the colors of the rainbow in your clouds, and no one is the wiser.  I tried to keep that in mind when I did my sky.

I also wanted to stay loose and have some fun with my farmers shirt.  Since he is kind of leaning over with his back to the sun, it gave me a good chance to reflect the sky and the ground into his shirt.  I did the same thing with his pants and boots

I do have a couple antique scythes kicking around that I used for props in this painting.  And again, I wanted to keep things loose, but accurate.  But it was my lovely Ellen that reminded me that I needed to put a bolt in the bottom of the handle.  Can you see it in the picture below?

Keeping it real for Ellen!

Anyway, I always breathe a scythe   sigh of relief whenever I'm done a painting, but I'm also a little sad that I had to end the good times.  So because I had so much fun with this one, I'm doing another old-time scene.   It's getting to be maple sugar season soon.

Stay tuned...


FortyTwoBlades said...

As a fellow Mainer and a scythe user and historian I was pleased to stumble across this work. You may not be aware, but Maine used to be the site of the largest and highest quality scythe blade manufacturers in the United States! Looks like the blade on the unit you used for a prop was of a hybrid style, manufactured in Austria according to continental European tradition but outfitted with an Anglo-American tang to fit our pattern of snaths (handles.)

Kevin Mizner said...

Thank you for the information, FortyTwo. I've known Maine was a leader in many industries back in the day, but being renowned for it's scythe blades is a new one for me.