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!!