Fauvist Barns 1 : Muted Red & not Heightened Colour – American Fauve Barns, Wolf Kahn

‘Sechoir à Tabac’
30 x 40 cm. Oil on Panel.© The Artist.

Old Tobacco Drying Barns

The South West is where most of France’s tobacco is grown. This is an old drying barn (sechoir), not far from my house. In these types of barns, alot of work goes on, as the leaves are hung up to dry & then carefully processed by hand. One of the jobs is to take the leaves off the trunks, which are large & woody. As I was painting this, the farmer was burning the old trunks on a smokey bonfire. An aroma of fresh tobacco floated across the landscape. For just how long this crop will go on being produced, I don’t know. Recently the government passed a law banning all smoking in public spaces, much to the annoyance of ‘Les Gauloises’.

 Some American fauve barns :

Allen Tucker (1866–1939)   Red Barns 1923


no heightened colour RED

Heightened colour = where the colour is pushed back to the most saturated, most intense. Back to ‘pure’ colour straight from the tube, the ‘mother’ colour of the mixes.

I remember reading somewhere in a Robert Genn newsletter, something about trying to paint a rusty barn & keep it browny rust , rather than let it go over into heightened colour RED. So I decided to try out this pictorial idea of an ‘anti-fauve barn’ , being something of a fauve myself.

Et viola la resultat (as much this poor quality pin-hole digitial camera will allow. Yes, I’m still waiting to be reimbursed by Sony Minolta for the manufacturors default in my Minolta Dimage A1).



Rules in Painting

However, so as to make up for following one rule, I also decided to deliberately break another ‘artistic’ rule. That of never placing the centre of interest in the middle of the picture. These rules have to be taken with a pinch of salt. Part of me still longs to paint a fauve barn, hei oui!  Red, I see you on my palette & in my dreams… but where are you in my paintings?

this is the post fauvist barns part one
fauvist barns part two – fauvist-barns-heightened-colour-vlaminck-kandinsky

Fauvist Barns 3 : Red in Landscape Painting

Heightened Colour in Photography

2 Comments on “Fauvist Barns 1 : Muted Red & not Heightened Colour – American Fauve Barns, Wolf Kahn

  1.  by  Casey Klahn

    I really like this one, Adam. The balance is there – never mind the “center”!
    And, the handling of the color is very well done. Of course, you have seen my “Fauvist” barn, which is actually a combination of my own barn, and a neighbor’s which has a ramp and a companion structure.
    That one started out as a postage stamp sized study in response to a new set of 12 pastels.
    Recently, an outing to paint some farm plein air work has gotten me back to doing barns.

  2.  by  Adam


    i have indeed seen your’fauve’ barn, & like it alot. where else would one keep one’s ‘wild beasts’? ;-)(fauve = wold beast in french).

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