Although it seems like yesterday, some years ago I was a college student who visited Arabia Mountain in Dekalb County on a geology field trip. Some years passed before I discovered that I was living not that far away from that memorable granite outcrop. It had seemed so rural when I had last been that it never occurred to me it was that close to Atlanta.
That discovery led to a number of visits to the Arabia Mountain trail which I found encompassed not just the mountain but a string of preserved sites. It appeared there was a concerted effort to save some of the rural way of life in this corner of Dekalb County, Georgia. Although nothing is the same as an actual working rural landscape, I really liked that the citizens of Dekalb saved some of their past from the bulldozer.
This old dairy barn in the farm scene you see here was part of that effort to save a fading piece of their rural landscape. When I took the photo this artwork is based on, I didn’t realize it was part of that preservation effort. It simply looked like a pretty piece of a fading past and I wanted to save that weathered old barn in my own way. It was actually at an art festival later where I connected those dots. A print buyer in my booth saw this print of Vaughters Farm. It turned out that he had been there when it was a dairy barn and that had been a matter of a decade or two before.
I’m glad to know that old dairy barn will exist beyond my art print. I saw so many old barns and sheds in North Georgia slipping away in my years there. So it was a delight to find one that would be here for generations to come.
Aside from the old barn, what I most love about this rustic farm scene is the emerging signs of spring. The trees beyond the farm buildings are still bare, but if you look again the foreground includes the first green growth of spring. It’s a beautiful moment of transition between the seasons, just as winter’s grip finally gives way. A moment so significant to farmers.