Saturday, September 09, 2006

Illustration Friday: Farm


In 1974 Papa and his sisters
Sold the farm, and we went
To live in town.

Great grandpa Claus and Grandpa Chris
Had driven cattle and coddled sheep,
Had threshed grain and sprouted beans

From the 1880s to the 1970s...
Our family was there
On the valley floor...

Through flood and drought, we were there.

My boyhood was there;
My adulthood was elsewhere.
Then I ran with my dogs;
Now I walk with my ghosts.

This afternoon I walked
My dog on a leash in this city.
And I, I feel the tether 'round my own neck.

-Twisselman, 2006

Peace to all, and keep the good memories alive.
Illustration is based on a photo from the Solomon D. Butcher Collection, Neb. State Hist. Soc.

23 comments:

Detlef said...

I dig it!

baggelboy said...

cowboydog
I think your words says it all.

Sea Angel said...

I hear you. City has that effect on me too.
Lovely writting and wonderful illustration.
Thank you for charing. =)

Michelle Lana said...

great! nice work.

andrea said...

Terrific illustration -- the expressions are priceless. (And if you want to run with your dog again, a Border Collie is a good choice -- but the one I illustrated was an Australian Shepherd :)

Janet said...

'love their faces! As always, good words too.

steve said...

wow--great poem and image here. now you've got me hungry for watermelons!

Claire said...

Thanks for letting me know about your blogsite...and I like what you wrote more than your illustration, as we were there together...thanks for this. Love, Claire

Ginger*:)* said...

What a glorious life to remember, and such a bittersweet poetic memory. It touched my heart. The illustration is perfect for the theme. I like your new image in the profile as well!

HARDWAX said...

Interesting, the three standing there proudly holding their slices of watermelon, so serious, especially the farmer in the middle, and he bares a striking resemblance to you-at least from what i can see from your current and first profile picture-all he needs is glasses.
A house can be haunted and so can a man.
One of a kind and beautiful artwork as always.

Jana Bouc said...

The painting is beautiful and evocative but the poem is incredible. I looked to see who wrote it and was thrilled that it was yours. Very very powerful!

the heartful blogger said...

Beautiful work, gave me goosebumps.

ValGalArt said...

awesome Twisselman! Every picture I have seen of people on farms in my family had serious expressions like this. Eerie!!! ---but cool!

Robert McLaughlin said...

Very nice, and your thoughts are compelling. I've always been the city boy, but hope someday to retire to the country.

Digital Scott's illustrationblog said...

Another very nice piece! And thanks for your kind words. Blessings upon you!

the enigma said...

wonderful painting... lovely!

Amy Zaleski said...

Lucky you to have those memories and history! Wonderful illustration ~ they look very proud!

modroom said...

This is one of my favourites, working and living with the land. Halcyon days as a kid I think, by your words.

scribblesk said...

Wow,what hauntingly evocative words and image! Thanks for sharing!

carla said...

This is such a beautiful painting. I like the old time feeling it has - the men are very serious and formal looking, even though they are eating watermelon. Your poem is wistful... it is sad to lose touch with the land, especially if that's where you have roots. I am happy to be in the country now, although it is rap[idly being built up. Oh well.

Ellen Byrne said...

wow!

tiffinix said...

So yea this is incredible! Wow. . .just wow! The expressions, composition , coloring. . it is truly a stunning illustration. Dang!

Twisselman said...

Thanks to all for the comments. I've always liked the photograph on which it's based... of a group of sodbusters enjoying their melons, but being very somber about their enjoyment. I've seen the photo reproduced several times, but I happened to run across it in a Time-Life Old West volume on 'The Pioneers.' Peace.