This is the same little garden shovel I painted in 2013. The shovel was given to me by my uncle Ted and is super old. I love its unique combination of metal and wood. They certainly don’t make shovels like this anymore. The origins of this rusty old hand trowel lead back to a woman who currently is over 100 years old! Miss Sparendae made my uncle Ted in charge of all her gardens and bequeathed all her garden equipment to him. It turns out she had many really cool items.
I created a still life painting of this shovel over a year ago but at that time it had a silver paint covering the metal portions of the shovel. Because the silver paint was not part of the original shovel’s design I decided to remove it and restore the shovel to its pre-painted state. This required some careful use of commercial paint stripper. Even though I was removing the paint I wanted to be careful not to restore the little shovel too much. I didn’t want it completely new looking. After all, it is an 80+ year old shovel! Besides, I love making paintings depicting old rusty objects.
After I stripped the silver paint and cleaned up the shoved a bit I soon realized that the shovel must have been painted a green color by the manufacturer. There was a subtle green enamel that appeared to be one with the metal. This was a great find and it didn’t take long to come up with the title for this oil painting: In My Youth I Was Greener. Kind of a pun but definitely true regarding the original green paint!
Either way, I had a good time balancing the subtle green tones next to the rusty reds and oranges in this painting. I hope you enjoy it.
Let me know what you think below…