I did this painting in 2000. Sometimes what I do is read about other artists and immerse myself in their work. I study it and think about it. A couple of my favorites are Andrew Wyeth and Georgia O'Keeffe. Then I think, what it would it look like if I tried something like what they did.
My dad was talking about selling his farm. I thought, "Someday this will all be different." I went around and took pictures of everything. This painting is based on one of those photographs. My dad never made any art, but he'd unceremoniously display the antlers of every deer he killed. When I looked at these, it reminded me of Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings of skulls and bones. So I thought, I'll draw them Andy Wales style. I was really fascinated with the affects of time and weather on the barn boards, rusty hinges and bones. Now somebody's got ugly shiny metal siding over that beautiful barn.
The technique is called pencil and wash. I really like doing them. You do a finished pencil drawing, then stain it with watery washes of watercolor. I learned this trick from an artist of putting down a border with masking tape. Then when the painting is finished, pull it up. You get this crisp clear border. I put them in frames without mats, because I'm usually too broke for such luxuries.