This is the second time I have made an oil painting of this little old garden shovel. A while back this was the first tool I painted in my tool portrait series. At that time I had no intentions of painting more tools. In that summer of 2012 the shovel went directly from my garden to my basement painting studio and started it all.
When this tool was given to me by my Uncle Ted it was originally painted silver. The silver paint wasn’t part of the original shovel and so this time I carefully stripped off the silver paint and restored the garden tool back to its natural antiqued state. I never thought I would spend so much time preparing a tool just so it can hang on a pair of nails and pose for a painting, but sometimes that is what needs to be done.
With each tool comes a specific vision. When I hold each tool in my hand I have a sense of what it’s most beautiful assets are. Once I set the tool up in proper lighting, the lights and shadow either confirm or deny my suspicions. A sketch is further proof that I am on the correct path to honoring the beauty of a classic tool.
I hope that viewers of this painting of my special garden shovel get whisked away to a simpler time, a time in which maybe they lost themselves working in their own garden for an hour or two. No cell phone, or distractions. Just nature, and a quality tool to assist their pursuits.
What are your feelings?