"Winfield in the Milo"
My art studio is filled with projects to finish.  I love to do so many different, creative things and like many artists, I tend to jump from project to project.  

This summer I promised myself I would finish an acrylic painting that has special significance to me.  It is a painting of my paternal Grandfather, Winfield Powell standing in a field of red milo (some folks call this crop sorghum).  My photo reference was an old family,  heirloom, picture in black and white which showed this gentle man standing in an unusually great harvest of this crop.  The milo was nearly as high as his waist.

I decided to create a full color painting with the milo shorter so I could add a beautiful, Oklahoma sunset.  I wanted the colors and the light to be vivid.

Modern crops are now shorter and denser due to hybrid varieties.  There are also fewer and fewer farmers who grow the old fashioned, red-headed milo.  Long ago I cut a few stalks and have kept them in my art studio knowing I would use them as a reference for this painting.

I was born when my parents were both in their mid 40's and as a result, I never really knew my grandparents.  Winfield homesteaded our family farm and actually road a bicycle all the way from El Reno, Oklahoma to stake his claim on what was and is still called No Man's Land.  It was a journey of 250 miles.  I can't imagine.  After getting his claim he then returned downstate to retrieve his young wife and infant daughter.  They made their home in a dug out.  Winfield left the farm to my parents during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl and returned to El Reno a widower.  He remarried late in life and his second wife, Gussy became a big inspiration to me.  She was an artist and a free spirit and left a lasting impression on me.


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