The Little Red Barn

Posted on November 02, 2015 by April Lahti | 0 comments

It was a goal of mine this fall season to try and create a personalized image that featured a red barn and foliage.  I've often wondered why barns are so appealing to people (including myself)--and why does red seem to be the most popular color?  They have a rugged character and authenticity, and are a reminder of a different time.  At one time in New England they were everywhere--when people lived closer to the land and lived in harmony with it.


It is thought that they are red because long ago European farmers would mix rust into the linseed oil that they used to seal the wood. The rust was plentiful on the farm and would kill the fungi and moss that often would tend to grow on barns.  When the Europeans settled in America, they kept the tradition of the red barn which was helpful because when paint started to be used instead of oil, red paint was the least expensive.

Now in our modern lives, barn wood has become highly sought after as people have become more separated from the land but seem to have an innate longing to stay connected in small ways.

It is so popular that people like Tony Enos of are creating livings for themselves by taking wood from old barns and making it into beautiful and useful objects and accents for our homes:


Barns are so beloved that many couples even choose them for a wedding venue. Although at first thought it might seem strange to mix farms and weddings, they are a natural place to celebrate love because they hold a strong connection to nature and the nurturing of living things. They can be perfect for either a casual rustic wedding or an elegant refined one because the barn is a blank canvas that can be transformed into a very personal and romantic reflection of the couple.

It was my hope to create a personalized image for people who love barns or have a special connection to them. I headed out to the hills of Western Connecticut. By the time I found a picture with all the elements I was looking for, the sun was quite high in the sky and the shadows were dark. The foliage wasn't as far along as I had hoped it would be and the following picture was the result:

Yay!  I finally had my "little red barn" picture.  I got it home and tried to come up with a Photoshop technique to "carve" names in the fence.  But it was difficult because of the way the light was hitting (or not hitting) the fence.  And it bothered me that the leaves weren't as far along in their fall color as I had hoped.  I decided I would have to find a time to go back another day.

The next time I went (1 1/2 weeks later) it was a cloudy day.  Perfect. The clouds acted like a huge diffuser umbrella in the sky and evened out all those harsh shadows. And the trees had a chance to put on their brilliant autumn outfits.  I finally had a red barn picture that I was happy with:

What a difference 1 1/2 weeks can make in nature! 

And here it is personalized:





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