Tractor Love

Did you know I love tractors? Yep, love their shapes and colors.  But the old ones hold more charm.  Old, worn, rusted a bit, with hints of their original color are the best kind.  New, shiny ones are cool too, but they don’t hold quite the magic of the old ones.  My favorite part of the Dixie Classic Fair each fall is Yesteryear Village with all the old barns, buildings, blacksmithing, wood-carving, and yes, the tractors! I think some of the allure for me, lies in a way of life that is quickly disappearing…a connection to the land, a dependence on it, and wresting one’s life and sustenance from it.  I know, I KNOW… I idealize it all…having never experienced the actual life of a farmer.  Growing up in Boone, NC did give me an appreciation of the hard-working pioneer sorts who lived much closer to the land, extracting their living from it.

I’ve seen this tractor from afar on my walks in and around the neighborhood. It’s usually parked in a field near an old tobacco barn (ooh, I love old barns as much as the tractors!), but recently it had been pulled up into the cul-de-sac located near the barn but at the end of a newly built neighborhood.  Usually I just gaze at the barn and tractor off in the field as I near the end of the street, then I turn around and head home.  But this day, I feasted my eyes on the up close tractor, worn from years-of-use-gone-by (or are they still using it?), then walked quickly home to grab my camera.  If it hadn’t been so cold, I would have brought out my drawing supplies and made sketches on site, but it was just too frigid for sitting and drawing.  Perhaps if it’s still there come spring and warmer temperatures, I’ll make some plein aire sketches.  But for now, I have some good resource photos.  I’m playing with different mediums…you just can’t make only one picture with all the different media at our disposal…pens, watercolor, crayons, markers, etc. Perhaps I’ll make a series of these little tractor pictures.  Too much fun!

P.S. In case you want to know:  The first sketch is made with a non-waterproof pen (Bic Z4+ 0.5  my current favorite for continuous line drawings) and watercolor in an Aquabee 9 x 9 sketchbook (a favorite because it takes so many different media). The line drawing is made with that Bic pen in a square photo album.  I love the papers these photo albums have in them…very smooth, but thick paper…feels nice.)  The last sketch is made with gel pens, watercolor, and watersoluble crayons (in the same photo album)…way too much fun!!

0 thoughts on “Tractor Love

  1. ellen says:

    This is the my favorite post ever. Friend’s too. There is something about a tractor–there’s an entire life in it. The good years that made the tractor loan possible, the bad years that made you fear you would lose the tractor – or worse, the farm. The early mornings. Teaching your kids and grandkids to drive it.
    I always wanted to be from a farming family, too. Thanks Jennifer!

  2. Vicki says:

    I, too, am drawing to farm equipment, particularly tractors. I’ve never tried to draw one let alone do a watercolor. I love what you’ve done.


  3. Sherie says:

    I can see the allure. The lines and details. Those huge tires with the deep treads. So many interesting things to draw and paint there. These are great! Love your bold splashy colors, too.

  4. TracyMB says:

    Such scrumptious art!! I love your watercolours and splashy bits! Old tractors and old barns are two of my favourite sites. Luckily we still have a few left on the prairies here. 🙂

  5. Ann says:

    Your drawings have so much energy, I just love them. I especially like the first tractor done with pen and watercolor. I have a bunch of colored pens that are not water proof but I somehow think that if I tried using them this way I would never get the brilliant results you have here.

  6. nancy t says:

    Your style is clearly your own, and very distinctive! Your watercolor sketches look like they were done on Yupo – if you hadn’t told us what kind of paper you used, I would have thought Yupo for sure! nancy

  7. Alex Tan says:

    Love the sketch, and how can anyone not like your colors! Gosh, it’s like a fun party and everything is just lighting up like in a carnival 🙂 you did an amazing job in these!

  8. Louise says:

    I’m exactly the same with old cars! It feels like there is so much more character in the way ‘machines’ used to be designed. These paintings and sketches are beautiful! So vibrant and full of life. Great job!

  9. jenpedwards says:

    Gosh guys…thanks so much for the wonderful compliments! I think I shall remember them for a long time. Especially Alex’s! Merci beaucoup!

  10. Janene says:

    I absolutely love these! I feel very inspired by your style and use of color. I especially like the colors in the tires and the body of the tractor in the watercolor sketch.

  11. Raena says:

    I am slowly trying to move my family toward this way of life again. Though it is tough, I love working outdoors and the idea of being self-sufficient is appealing. Your tractor drawings are wonderful! I love your use of color!

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