Thursday, November 12, 2009

Barn and barrow

This old barn is deceiving in appearance, as the back side has fallen away. The rusty wheelbarrow sits atop the lid of a cistern.

The Windsor Bridge

We have 17 covered bridges in nearby Ashtabula County, and this one in Windsor, Ohio rates among the favorites. While painting it, I heard several Amish buggies cross it, the clop, clop of the horses resonated in a low tone as they navigated the long span.

November hay

I spent a nice Sunday afternoon painting these rolled bales of hay.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tractor Graveyard

This old McCormack-Deering sits in a nearby woods, slowly dissolving with rust. It had metal wheels, which didn't work too well when they froze to the ground; when a farmer dumped the clutch, they had a tendency to invert , killing or crippling the poor guy.

Autumn on Little Mountain

This is a view of a small house on an estate at the highest point of land in northeast Ohio.

Old Defender

This fire truck is a 1942 Ford which still runs, but it's duties are now limited to parades. It rests in an old station converted to a museum at the Mentor Fire Department, from which I retired.
This is a study for a larger piece I'm doing.

Hamden barnyard

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Far from the Continental Line

This is the site of a Revolutionary War veterans grave, along with the early settlers of Lake County, Ohio. A stone marker from the Veterans Administration accompanies the old soldier's resting place, sitting on a small hill overlooking a former watermill complex at Paine Falls. Our forefathers got the pick of the prettiest places around here for their burying grounds.

Sheds by the Towpath

The towpath from Ohio's canal system winds through The Cuyahoga Valley National Park, offering beautiful views to the thousands of bicyclists and hikers that follow it daily. These 19th century sheds are near the visitors center in Boston Mills.

Sandy Path

This trail through the dunes of Mentor Headlands State Park take you to the breakwall where you can step over the large stone blocks to reach the Grand River light. The sand has built up so much over the years that the beach nearly reaches the light on the west side of the wall. When I first went out there in the 50's, the wall was bordered by water for about a half-mile.

Fowler's Mill Village

A collection of original 19th century buildings remains from the community that grew around a gristmill nearby. This was painted from "Scenic River" park, owned by Munson Township.

Big Red

This barn is in Thompson, Ohio, and dates back to the 1800's. It has remained with the original family.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fairport Light

The Fairport Marine Museum is a "must" for lighthouse afficianadoes. I have painted this structure on and off since 1966 or so.
I've spent up to two weeks painting various versions; this one was done in about two hours.


It is unusual to see a yellow barn in Ohio. This one is in Columbia.

Jeeper's Creeper's

This old Willys is slowing dissolving in a woods nearby. It is surrounded by saplings and other plant growth. There is another one right behind it that I will paint when the leaves fall.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dusty Road

This Amish farm is located near Charm, Ohio, in scenic Holmes County. As I painted it, I was pummeled by clouds of dust kicked up by milk tankers that roared down the one-lane dirt road. It was reminiscent of "Drive-In dirt" from my youth.

When barns were vain

When Ohio was largely an agrarian society, much pride was associated with the appearances of buildings, tools, and equipment. I often see barn windows, ornate cupolas, and relics from the past that are decorated in a manner we would never consider today. Today is quick, cheap, and ugly.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My back yard

I've never painted a scene from my property before, so I waited until I had some clouds to work with, and hhere it is. I produced hundreds of custom-carved signs in the building shown, but now it serves as an art studio when the outdoor one is closed due to inclement weather.

Hotel Lakeside

I stayed at this quaint old hotel in Lakeside, Ohio while attending a Plein Air paint-out a few days ago. It dates from the late 19th century, and features 12 foot ceilings, elaborate wood banisters; charm that is not possible to find in a Ramada Inn.

Dad's schoolhouse

My father, Steven Polewchak, began the first grade at this one-room schoolhouse in 1920. He, along with his sister Katheryne, could not speak a word of English; Ukrainian was used at my grandfather's home. They learned in a hurry- no special treatment in those days.
The school in now part of Lake Metroparks, housing a nature education center.

Tanks for Nothing

This M-48 Tank of Vietnam-era vintage was donated by the government for monument use by the Madison American Legion. The engine and weapons system have been removed, eliminating any chance for future "joyriders", which has happened in other parts of the U.S.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Morning at Radcliffe Road

I painted this at the Girdled Road Reservation -South, off Radcliffe Road in Leroy Twp.

Monday morning at the barn

This is a horse barn on a local estate that dates back to the early 20th century.

Monday, July 20, 2009

July's Mayapple

I went to Indian Point to paint the towering trees there, but found this little Mayapple to be just as majestic in the morning light.

Lakeside Friday Evening

The village shops were closing when I finished this painting.A young lady left on the bike as soon as she locked the door in "Melanies" Boutique

Busy Beach

I painted this scene from the pier at Lakeside, Ohio. Kids were busy playing against a backdrop of the Pavilion, rental boats, and The Lakeside Hotel.

Morning at Lakeside

Lakeside is the Chautaqua of Ohio, and draws OPAS members to paint there anually. This view includes the bell monument and the ferryboat running back from Kelly's Island.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cade's Cove vista

I stopped to paint this view in Cade's Cove, in The Smoky Mountain N.P.
It is a piece of Heaven on Earth there.

Hacker Martin's Mill

Hacker Martin, a legendary gunsmith and miller of eastern Tennessee, kept the art of building Pennsylvania longrifles alive well into the 20th century at his gunshop and mill. It was moved to The Museum of Appalachia a few years ago for preservation and safekeeping: an incredible collection of original log buildings and artifacts located just north of Knoxville.

Tired- not Re-tired

I found these old tractors just down the road at an old barn I'd wanted to paint for some time. When I asked the elderly lady that lived there if I could paint her barn, I got the reply- "I got someone to do it last fall and they charged me way too much". When I explained that I wanted to paint it on canvas, she was relieved that I wasn't there to cheat her .

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mather's Lake

This lake is on a private estate near where I grew up. When I hiked in to paint it on Father's day, I was treated to a view I had not seen since 1965. It had changed very little, remaining just as beautiful as I'd remembered it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Harpersfield Farm

I painted this farm by the side of a dirt road, with plenty of dust imbedded in my wet paint that was kicked up by passing tractors..

Truck payment

A contractor took this old International pickup truck in trade for money owed to him by a customer. It sits by the barn unrestored, and he has turned down numerous offers to sell it.

Chapin Forest Quarry

Much sandstone was quarried here long ago when Cleveland was changing from a frontier town into a major mid-western city, as it was a major source of stone blocks. The cliffs and ledges are steep and dangerous, as nearly every year some careless park visitor manages to fall the 100 + feet to the bottom, discovering the harsh effect of gravity on the human body.

The Horse Barn

This horse barn has a distinctive cupola that reminds me of Churchill Downs. My father worked there as a stable boy in the early 1920s. It was built in an era where the craftsmanship in barnbuilding was at it's height in Ohio. It is the nicest horse barn I've ever seen.