Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Instead of Goats--
There's a scrappy piece of land on a steep hilltop adjacent to the local family dentistry office that has suddenly acquired a herd of goats. I almost had an accident driving past it today, craning my neck to see the goats, who were hard at work clearing the weeds and scrubby bushes. My mission was to go back out there this evening and draw the goats, but there was no place to park along the highway, and the dentist office parking lot was bristling with signs threatening no trespassing and video surveillance and 24 hour towing. I decided to risk being towed, figuring there was no real problem because it was after hours, right? But no sooner had I scrambled up the steep bank and started walking along the narrow path that ran between a ticking electric fence and a sharp drop, then a large dog bounded out of the woods beyond the fenced area followed by its shouting owner. All this, and the goats could not be seen from this side of the lot. So I quickly changed plans and found a quiet rural road with some interesting outbuildings to draw instead.
At top left is what must be a horse barn. The four double doors seem to open onto stalls, and there's an empty hay rack of some kind attached to the building. I didn't see any signs of horses, and the fencing was old barbed wire; so this place might be abandonned.
Across the road and down about a quarter of a mile was the barn-like building on the bottom left. Its slatted sides reminded me of a very old Portuguese canastro that I saw last spring while in Porto, Portugal. A canastro, I have learned, was a little barn used to dry corn. The sides are slatted and it's raised up on short pillars to discourage rodents. This barn/corn crib that I drew was not as well-fashioned as a canastro, but it was interesting to see how the trees were used to hold up the shed roof and stones formed pillars to hold up the downhill side. I really enjoy drawing this kind of building.
On the right-hand page, a goat milking stand that's in the woods near my house. Originally this stand stood square, but it's slowly composting in place, and the whole thing leans to the left and has vines growing over it.
On the left page, above, is an abandoned goat shed in the woods at the foot of Jones Mountain. This is a small structure, about the size of a large doghouse. It was built by college students in the 60s who were planning to raise goats in the woods to help keep the underbrush in the nearby orchard trimmed. The plan didn't work because the goats kept running away. On the right is one of the old-growth trees that grows just across from the goat shed.