Grandpa’s Watercolors

“Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.”

-Pablo Piccaso-

journal entry:

Grandpa is always in the background doing something.  If he isn’t building he is digging up.  If he isn’t fixing he is tearing out.  In between all of his work and toil and kindness to others . . . Grandpa paints.  He isn’t just any old painter.  He is a wonderful painter.  People buy his paintings and his children stake them out and find places for them on their walls.  He knows the names of colors and the weights of paper.  He knows how much water is too much water and how much is just right.  His eye is always roaming around for things to paint.  Houses, barns, trees, flowers, fences.  Light and shadow.  It will soon be autumn and the zinnias will be finished for the season.  This beautiful zinnia lasts the winter through.  The original is in the home of our son.

The back roads of  Utah have treasures everywhere.  Old houses.  Old barns.  Broken fences.  Windows without glass.  Crooked doors.  From the photograph comes the painting.  No two paintings are the same.  They are filled with personality.  What is the story behind the house?  Who lived there?  When did they leave?

When winter comes, this painting can grace the walls.  An old church.  Older trees all around it.  Grandpa makes a person want to walk through the snow to get a closer look. It could be anywhere.  Every little town in America has churches like this one.  Old.  Deserted. Full of stories.

Painting is like a diary.  Piccaso was right.  At the end of the season, before the harvest, our garden is crowded with pumpkins.  Most are still hidden under the leaves.  This was a good year for pumpkins.  A perfect autumn painting for our home.  Each painting has a story and each story is told by Grandpa’s brush.  Each painting is a keepsake.  Some have blue ribbons.  Most are the walls of homes where little ones tell their friends that “my Grandpa painted that.”

“In painting one must give the idea of the true by means of the false.”

-Edgar Degas-


  1. Heather

    These are amazing! I have more than a few scattered throughout my house. People always comment on how talented Dad is and how lucky I am to have original artwork in my house!

  2. Sandra

    Hello, Shilo.
    All of the barns my husband paints are Utah barns but they are everywhere. We take little drives where he spots one and takes a photograph to paint. There are cool barns in Cedar Fort, Clover, Vernon, Snowville (many abandoned homesteads between Snowville and the Idaho border in grass fields with multiple buildings.)

    There is a wonderful barn-shed which can be seen from the parking lot of Broadbents in Lehi. It is on private property but would be wonderful for a photo backdrop.

    Wonderful barns in Manti and Nephi.

    Hope that helps.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top