After many years of living in this house near Aberfoyle Mill, the commissioner of this piece was moving. He wanted a painting to celebrate this house that he had built.
This historic piece was painted as a commission and shows teams of horses powering the thrashing machine near London, Ontario. The man in the centre of the sweep was responsible to keep the horses moving in a steady, deliberate way. The small boy with the white shirt had a very sharp knife to cut the string from each bundle or sheaf. His job was boring but he would not space out as it was very dangerous for the man holding the sheaf if the boy were to slip.
This rural property was totally refurbished by the couple shown in the driveway. Their labour of love took many years and this painting marked the finished project. Only two years later they sold the property but took the painting with them as a portable piece of their farm.
I visited this family retreat in Georgian Bay on my brother-in-laws boat. Private and peaceful, this location meant much to the Toronto-based owners. It is not surprising that they wanted a painting from their much loved cottage. This family owns a large collection of my work that goes back over twenty-five years.
Wouldnt we all wish to own a century-old stone house that was situated on a farm with a tree-lined lane? The people who commissioned this painting actually do. These people purchased several paintings from me years ago and felt now they wanted an original painting of their own place. Also on their list of details to include were Hereford cattle (he is a gentleman farmer), as well as their own horses and their dog, a Dalmatian named JC. It is such a pleasure to create this personalized historic painting after visiting with them.
This commissioned painting tells the story of a farm family. A usual Sunday afternoon included a stop at the fields to do a progress report on their cattle. This painting is rather complex because of the inclusion of so many pieces of nostalgia, in addition to the family itself. Clearly this piece, which is very popular, speaks directly to people who were brought up on a farm.