When we arrived here in 2014, the old barn was screaming for some loving. The 130+ year old structure was amazing: strong, solid, functional. And completely beautiful in a rustic way. It just needed a coat of paint, right?
Paul knew right from the get-go that what it needed was artwork. He searched for someone with the obscure talent of painting murals on the sides of barns. He found Scott Hagan, aka The Barn Artist. Scott lives in Ohio and each year from March through October, he travels the country painting barns and a whole assortment of buildings usually refurbishing faded designs from days long gone. He's also quite talented in creating new and unique artwork. During the winter months, he moves indoors to paint schools and gymnasiums with spirited-filled color. I encourage you to check out his portfolio: barnartist.com.
So in late August of 2015, Scott arrived with his loaded pickup truck and RV to spend the week, painting a design of Paul's choosing. We had discussed many options but settled on an American flag. It just seemed right for the "canvas" so to speak. But which version of the flag should we use?
Since the farm was established in 1887 according to local history and the records we've acquired, it made sense to select a flag from that era. And because there were no official specifications for the flag's pattern until 1912, there were many variations to the arrangement of stars from which to choose. There were 38 states represented on the flag from 1876 until 1890. Since Colorado was admitted to the Union on August 1, 1876, the circular pattern with 4 stars in the corners is known as the centennial flag in honor of the United States' 100th birthday. In my opinion, it's the most interesting arrangement of stars and a design which showcases folk art at its best. With the design chosen, Scott got to work.
My part in the process was to choose just the right red. It had to scream BARN. So I trudged off to Sherwin Williams, the preferred paint of Barn Artists everywhere. Three sample pints of paint later, we selected the winning color, "Bolero". Back to the paint store I went to get an enormous amount of base paint and the specific white and blue for the rest of the flag. Scott has a lot of experience painting flags so he was very precise about the colors he used.
The whole process took about a week dealing with the weather and equipment failures. I think you will agree that the project was a success. I cannot imagine a time before the barn had its flag. It seems like it was always supposed to be there. And as time passes, the weather takes its toll. The stars and stripes fade a little each year. When the time comes, rest assured our Barn Artist will be back again to spruce it up.