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Why Boards?

If you look at some of my paintings you'll notice quite a bit of them are painted on these round boards. Where did they come from? Why paint a cow, sheep, horse, landscape, or scene on a round board? Well, here's the back story.

While we were living in Germany, I would venture out to these antique stores, and flea markets with my friends. There would be stacks of refurbished bread boards everywhere. I'm not exactly sure why there's such a desire for these boards, maybe because of their shape, and with some of the older ones a bit of character. I think they look great mixed in with a collage wall. The round board is just aesthetically pleasing to me. It adds a different texture, and shape to the walls. My dear friend, Rebekah, gave me the idea to start painting on them. I had never painted on a bread board before. I had no idea what I'd actually paint, but I was definitely intrigued. This was the spark that ignited my next series of paintings, cows.

My first board painting was for my friend Nili. I started on Nili's board just after I had painted Claus, the sheep that brought my brushes out of retirement. I painted a cow with flowers on the side to commemorate the "Cows Coming Home" festivals in the Alps. Have you ever heard of the expression, "When the cows come home......" and wonder what does that even mean? Well, in the Alps the timeframe it is the end of summer, when the cows literally come home down from the mountains. The cattle spends the summer months in the higher elevations feeding on the grass, and at the end of summer they come down the mountain to the farm. This centuries old tradition is a huge event in the Alps. The villages have a festival and watch the farmers parade their cattle into town adorned with beautiful headdresses and bells. The sound of the big bells can be deafening with hundreds of cattle parading through the streets. To witness one of these festivals is truly an amazing experience.

The first cow painting

I soon found myself collecting every board I could get from the antique stores, taking commissions for custom orders. This was a new chapter for me with my art. I have always had a passion for painting, selling a few of my pieces here and there, but not a lot of custom orders for people. The cow series, and boards were becoming a big success. It really fueled my drive to start my own business creating custom pieces for people to enjoy.

The boards weren't strictly limited to the cows, I have painted landscapes, pets, sheep, birds, horses, a skull, and cityscapes. Whatever people wanted I would custom paint it on a board. As I was building up momentum with orders, we had to return back to the states, leaving my supplier. I stocked up on the boards as much as I could and we headed stateside. While my orders continued to come in, my German stock of boards started to diminish. I then reached out to a friend from our time in Kansas, Mike, who had become quite the craftsman taking up woodworking as a hobby. I now have a replacement for these boards. Mike makes every board by hand, similar to the ones I purchased in Germany. Now I can continue with my board paintings.

I currently have 7 naked boards ready for paint. *wink *wink

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