Many mountain villages in southern Switzerland still display a good insight how the people in former times had lived. Especially natural materials were commonly used for the construction of buildings.
I always love to spend a day outside in the mountains and explore those rural human settlements to find new inspiration and motives for my paintings. Old farmer houses and barns made of wood and stone are fantastic motives which never fail to evoke my artistic excitement to translate such a scene into a new painting.
During the time I’ve lived in Valais, there were plenty of opportunities to find this kind of inspirational places. Especially one old barn, decorated with hundreds of small wooden plates had drawn my attention. The small tiles had seen many years and the wood was burned from the sun. Here and there one piece was missing. However, the overall composition made of all these single hand-crafted pieces was just beautiful. In the middle of the barn wall some of the wooden plates were missing, resulting in a square formed hole, unrevealing the pitch-black inside of the building.
But on the other hand, this was a perfect entrance for birds and bats, which prefer a quiet and dry residence just like that. I began thinking about a good composition for my next painting and in my imagination a barn owl appeared, peeking outside the wooden residence, watching the playful shadows of the house martins dancing upon the wooden plates in the late afternoon sun.
This painting was acquired for the permanent collection of the renowned Leight Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. Read more about the Birds in Art show in my news feed.