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May 15- Brent Bailey-Paintings from the Farm at Prophetstown

My time in California went very well, but being back home is nice. If you’d like to see the start of the work I did out west, you can check out the first video here-  

I spent about a week with Brent Bailey, a blacksmith and tool maker that’s been making some of the best hammers out there for years now. After working with Brent remotely on some illustrations for several years now, he invited me out to his shop and home to shoot a new series of videos for his YouTube channel and redesign his website. 

 

His old site was straight out of the late 90’s, so the refresh is looking real nice. We also redid his shop to focus more on nice images and a modern structure. I’m very pleased with how everything turned out and will be working with a few more clients this year on a similar rebranding and marketing campaigns. 

After returning from California, I was excited to begin working outside on the farm. Paisley and I have a vested interest in growing as many heritage plants as we can in the garden, so we traveled to the “Farm at Prophetstown” at Prophetstown State Park to do some research and get some good starter plants.  

The farm is built with a series of original 1920’s farm buildings, combined with the animals it’s an opportunity for reference that is hard to ignore. Each time we visit I take a few photos to use for paintings later. Below you can see the first I completed. The photo reference for this was taken in April when we attended a class on home food preservation at the farm. 

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This first painting went over well with folks online and I quite enjoyed painting it. On our second visit, to purchase plants for our ever growing garden, I took a few more pictures of the chickens and their coops. 

Growing up with history nerds as parents has infused me with a love of everything old, and seeing this old and tiny farm buildings just fills me with joy. They are warn out in the best ways possible and ripe for painting.  

Growing up with history nerds as parents has infused me with a love of everything old, and seeing this old and tiny farm buildings just fills me with joy. They are warn out in the best ways possible and ripe for painting.  

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Here you can see the initial sketch of the above watercolor.  

It’s early in the stages, but I’m really enjoying these farm and rural themed paintings. I’m working on making more additions to this series and seeing where it takes me this summer. The plein air season is right around the corner and I’m excited to get out and paint.  

Wrapping up this week, I wanted to share one of the cooler things to come out of our blacksmith shop in awhile. We were contacted by a client requesting a couple pre 19th century shovels forged shovels. It was neat enough for us to squeeze it in. Having never built a shovel before, we were very pleased with how it came out. In a few mornings we were able to finish them up and get them out the door. We enjoyed making them so much we are looking to add them to our product line this summer.  

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Looking forward to sharing more of spring on the farm soon.  

Ethan Yazel