Illinois

Blog_Illinois

A trip through the midwestern U.S. will take you through miles and miles of farm land where billboards line the roads extolling the virtues of the latest chemical that will increase a farmer's yield. As you cruise past fields that extend for miles, you notice that the corn stands high but in September, it seems awful dry, like its ready to fall over and be plowed under because someone forgot to harvest it. That's what I thought when I went to visit my son in Illinois last fall. But I was wrong. The miles of dry corn is part of the plan.

Apparently, the farmers let the corn dry in the fields where it is much less expensive to dry it, so that when it is harvested, it can go right into the production of corn products. Not to provide you and I with fresh sweet corn for our summer cook-outs. Its for corn syrup, my friends, corn syrup. That's what drives the farm economy in these parts.

I was fascinated by the barns in Illinois and wandered off the road to capture this composition with the golden fields behind the barn from the drying stalks. The farmer gladly gave me permission when I explained what I wanted to do. Behind me were acres and acres of soy beans, another of the country's staple products. It may seem boring when you see so many barns like this one, but I find beauty around every bend in the simple things. That's what makes the landscape so interesting. Simple things like this are used by the people who need them and they seem to take on a personality of their own, often reflecting their owners. You can see many plain buildings standing out in the miles and miles of soil, buildings that are for utility, not so much for beauty.

I think an artist has to look for beauty in the world around them because I believe its there. Textures, shapes, shadows and reflections all help to make a mosaic of interesting compositions to the artist who trains their eye to see them.