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Turning Trash into Treasure

This was one of those ideas in the "hmm, cool, but it will never happen" category. The worst eyesore when we moved to the old feedlot was the 3-storey cinderblock base of a grain elevator. Turned out, removing it was not going to be easy or cheap. So our visitors would stare puzzled at the monstrosity for 15 years.

But when Mr. Farmer proposed a four-sided mural covering the entire building, it didn't seem any more doable. Besides time and expense, the main obstacle was finding an artist, since the intended artwork wasn't just some simple abstract design, but a deep and detailed thematic rendering.

Along came 2022 and a wonderful gift- a good friend and employee who was willing and (more than) able to tackle our crazy ideas and make them come to life.

Over last winter, we developed a plan. Each side of the mural would represent a time in history on our land. Each side would show one of the four seasons and a different time of day.

Each side would express the Scripture in Ecclesiastes: "To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven."

And we would work in a practical aspect- a sundial worked into each side, visible from almost anywhere on the farmyard.

We would start on the worst side, the east side- the one with the huge hole right where everyone waits to get on the hayride.

Prepping the surface took a while and the artwork didn't really get underway until we closed for the season in August. Soon her sketches started to become reality and as the work developed on such a huge canvas, the infinite opportunity for detail became apparent.

Not only could we capture a time in history, we could work in a storyline, hidden messages and humour, as well as local details painted from real life, like this barn swallow's nest in progress.

The artist specializes in exquisite detail, so when it was time to paint the people, we chose to create a Ukrainian family with lots of gorgeous colour in their clothing.

There is still lots of work to do on the 'spring' side of the mural, but already it is a masterpiece and such a delightful place to stand and observe and chat about with friends.

Here you can see the final painting day of 2022.

Bonus for us- there is a bright spot of colour in a very white, wintery and somewhat bleak landscape.

And if anyone needed another reason to look forward to spring, here it is!

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