So, most of my work (but not all) now has something of my past embedded in it. I love painting country characters, farmers with their flat caps and big hands, farm animals and wildlife that I remember when growing up. I spent hours mooching round the cattle market with my friends on a Saturday morning while the grown ups did business before disappearing in to the pub afterwards (kids weren't allowed in pubs back then, you see, things were better!). What I didn't know at the time was I was actually gathering reference for future paintings.
My favourite time of year was harvest time. Long summer days (it was always hot then) with the combines clattering into action and tractors and trailers loaded with wheat and barley charging around the countryside as we rode on the back, No Health and Safety then but we never came to any harm. As ten year old boys we would even drive the tractors with several tons of grain behind us. Still, tractors were a bit smaller then.
The tractors that I grew up with inspired me to do a series of paintings of vintage (am I that old?) vehicles that are now considered classics. The little grey Fergy (the TE20), Fordson Power Major, David Brown 950 Implematic and the Massey Feruson 135. My paintings depict real tractors that have seen slightly better days, a bit rusty, a few bits missing and with the odd bit of binder twine holding things together. That's how I remember them.
There is something warm and comfortable about all things nostalgic, and judging by the amount of people that collect old tractors, I can't be the only one that remembers them with affection. We'd love to hear your stories too.