Abandoned (Concentration 8)


July 3, 2014 by mamie



Completed Date: 3/28/14

Medium: gesso and acrylic on tar paper

Description: Believe it or not, I painted this scene using a close-up reference of the faraway shack in “Nevermore.” While I was walking around the area taking pictures, I thought it was so interesting that so many random daily items were strewn around the house’s walls, and it seemed like they had just been lying there for years. The whole scene seemed like the last few words of a story suddenly interrupted by some event. I had to capture the moment and share the unfinished story.

When I was searching for a poem to match the setting, one of my friends mentioned the perfect one: “Abandoned Farmhouse” by Ted Kooser. In the most honest words, Kooser describes so well a similar mysterious setting drenched with abandonment.

Abandoned Farmhouse


He was a big man, says the size of his shoes
on a pile of broken dishes by the house;
a tall man too, says the length of the bed
in an upstairs room; and a good, God-fearing man,
says the Bible with a broken back
on the floor below the window, dusty with sun;
but not a man for farming, say the fields
cluttered with boulders and the leaky barn.
A woman lived with him, says the bedroom wall
papered with lilacs and the kitchen shelves
covered with oilcloth, and they had a child,
says the sandbox made from a tractor tire.
Money was scarce, say the jars of plum preserves
and canned tomatoes sealed in the cellar hole.
And the winters cold, say the rags in the window frames.
It was lonely here, says the narrow country road.
Something went wrong, says the empty house
in the weed-choked yard. Stones in the fields
say he was not a farmer; the still-sealed jars
in the cellar say she left in a nervous haste.
And the child? Its toys are strewn in the yard
like branches after a storm–a rubber cow,
a rusty tractor with a broken plow,
a doll in overalls. Something went wrong, they say.

6 thoughts on “Abandoned (Concentration 8)

  1. I love this scene Mamie! The color combo is just so refreshing! Really lovely treatment on the edges of your canvass!Great art!

  2. Mary says:

    Beautiful Mamie – love how the gray gives the feeling for abandonment and the green adds a bit of life. Nice work on the perspective of the scene! Perfect poem selection.

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