Tag Archives: barn

Writer Inspires Artist – Artist Inspires Writer or On The Radio – Meet Hank

I could call this week’s post – “The Art of Visualization: The Key Element to Writing, Art and Photography”, but the result of that ability is “On The Radio – Meet Hank”.  I’m doing a joint collaboration with one of my favorite authors, Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene. One of my most consistent comments to her after reading her writing is: “I love it…I am instantly pulled in because I can visualize everything you are writing about”. When she asked me to do this joint post, her request was simple: “Go through your art and photography portfolio and send me a picture that you would like to have me weave into one of my novels”. I narrowed it down to Cedar Rapids Barn because this capture of an old dilapidated barn created a visualization of a rural setting and the mystery surrounding the structure (side note: I was driving on the outskirts of Cedar Rapids, Iowa in the heavily wooded hills along the river when I spotted this structure nestled in the trees. Of course I had to stop…hike into the woods and take some shots with my camera). So with that, I would like to turn it over to the star of this visualization, Teagan: 

Hi Kirt! Hello everyone, I’m Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, from the blog, Teagan’s Books. It’s my pleasure to be a guest here at The Wall Gallery. Thanks to Kirt for working with me on this joint post!

3-things-cover_3-2016As I get ready for the takeoff of my next 1920s novel, Murder at the Bijou, Three Ingredients-I, I’m doing some collaborative posts with other bloggers. We’re combining their unique talents with my stories. From his wonderful collection, Kirt chose this image, Cedar Rapids Barn. I let it spontaneously lead me to the story below.

This tale is set in the Roaring Twenties world of my flapper character, Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip. (For more about Pip, see The Three Things Serial Story click here.)

Today meet Hank Hertz. This vignette is part of Hank’s backstory. He’s a young man Pip will meet when she is sent to live in Savannah, Georgia with her grandmother. However, this vignette takes place at some point not too long before Pip arrives there, so she is not in this story.

On the Radio — Meet Hank

No harm in trying one more time, Hank Hertz thought as he stacked all manner of electronic components on the counter.

“Hi, Mr. Hardscrabble,” Hank mumbled, trying to avoid eye contact with the hardware store’s proprietor.

“Hank, I already told you. Your ma told me not to sell you any of this gadgetry tomfoolery. You might as well put all that stuff back on the shelves, son.”

Hardscrabble put a hand to his balding head in a frustrated gesture. He found his spectacles there and smiled because he’d forgotten where he put them. However, he brightened when the door opened. One of “Savannah’s finest,” Detective Dabney Daniels strolled into Hardscrabble Hardware. His finely chiseled features remained neutral, but he raised an eyebrow at the tableau at the counter.

“Now get on with you, boy. Put everything back. I can’t take your money,” the store owner repeated before turning to a real customer. “That boy gets more like his granddaddy every day. Detective, what can I do for you?”

1928 Detroit police radio Blue

“No need to rest on formality, Homer. I can’t find my flashlight, so I’m here for another one,” the detective replied then looked sheepish. “Go ahead and laugh about things going missing at a police station. I can tell you’re holding it back.”

Hank watched the exchange between the tall detective and the portly shopkeeper as he reluctantly made trips from the sales counter back to the shelves. He could have carried more things at one time, but he delayed the inevitable, hoping Mr. Hardscrabble would change his mind. As he picked up a few more items to return to the shelf, the detective stopped him.

“What is all that stuff, son? If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were building a ham radio. Or at least intended to before Homer shut you down.”

For a moment Hank’s face lit up at the mention of his passion — all things electronic, especially radios. He looked dejectedly at his feet.

“Momma wants me to study law. She says electronics and inventions are a distraction. She even said they were toys!”

“So all the old fogies are conspiring against you, huh? Well, you’d better ankle all that stuff back where it came from, like Homer told you.”


1920 Radio News

After supper Hank got an armload of books and headed out the kitchen door. His mother looked at the heavy tomes and gave a satisfied nod. Hank knew she was watching from the window above the sink as he walked to the little red barn. Vines of Cherokee roses ran riot over the building. The Hertz family used the barn for storage, but Hank made it his personal spot to study or just hang out. He also had a workbench tucked in one corner where he discretely kept his radio equipment.

The horizon blazed red with sunset when Hank slipped out of the barn. He pedaled the motorized bicycle he had made until he was far enough away that his parents wouldn’t hear the noise of the motor. Dusk descended as he rode into town.

Hank didn’t pay any attention to the dark Ford parked on the corner, or to the fact that someone sat inside it. He rode down the alley and came up behind Hardscrabble Hardware. The back door was locked, but he found a window he could open. He took his flashlight and climbed into the store.

He knew exactly where to find everything he wanted. So it didn’t take Hank long to gather all the electronics he tried to buy that afternoon. He stood at the sales counter and added up all the prices. He figured the tax. Then he left the full amount of the purchase, plus two cents, because he didn’t have enough pennies to leave the exact change.

Putting everything into his bag, Hank turned toward the back of the shop. It felt like an electric charge shot from his neck down his arm when he heard a cough behind him. Hank jerked around to face the sound.

1920 Victoria motorcycle ad

The boy thought he’d lose everything he ate for supper when he saw the police detective standing there, arms folded.

“So you actually broke into the store and paid for the things Homer wouldn’t sell you? Son, I don’t know what to make of that.”

Hank stumbled back a step. He wanted to run, but the copper knew who he was and where he lived. Besides, Hank had a pretty good idea that those long legs could catch up with him before he got to his bicycle. His breath caught in his throat. Hank couldn’t have spoken even if he’d known what to say.

The detective closed the distance to the counter in a single step. He pointed his new flashlight to the paper where Hank had added up his purchase. Then he pursed his lips as he thought. He stared at Hank as if he could see every fib the boy had ever told. Hank gulped.

“Where’d you get the money for this stuff, son? Allowance? Money for odd jobs?”

Hank only nodded, still unable to talk. Finally he found his voice and croaked out a reply. “It’s my money sir. Fair and square. I wouldn’t steal anything.”

“I guess I’m going to have to have a talk with your parents,” the Dabney Daniels said, slowly shaking his head.

Poor Hank felt like he might sink through the floor, right then and there. His knees felt weak.

“But this,” the copper motioned at Hank’s bag full of stuff. “I don’t see as any law has really been broken. After all, I walked in through the front door, which was unlocked. I know Homer leaves through the back door and forgets to lock the front. But being as you’re here, I assume he left it open for you.”

Hank gazed at Daniels in wide eyed confusion.

“Besides, I hate doing paperwork. If you had actually broken into this store, I’d have to haul you to the station and spend the rest of the night writing up the report. I do have to talk to your parents though,” he added causing Hank to sink further.

The young man managed a groan.

“You know, I really need an intern down at the station. I think your mother will see that working for me would be a good learning experience for a future lawyer. In a way, that’s where law starts isn’t it? With the police? Meanwhile you can put your talent with radio gadgetry to use. How does that sound?”

The end


And so Savannah’s youngest policeman began his career. If you want to know more about the other characters in Murder at the Bijou, Three Ingredients-I, click here. Thanks for reading.


Copyright © 2016 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.


The Bright Red Barn – Featured Art Print

The Bright Red Barn: a wall art print where I used an abstract watercolor technique creating this scene. This technique uses blocks of color shapes to create the subject, which creates a clean, modern look. This particular wall art print depicts a typical bright red barn.


The setting is rural Iowa in the area surrounding the Amana Colonies in eastern Iowa. The time of year is mid winter with just hints of snow left here and there. The starkness and barren look of the countryside as a backdrop against the bright red barn, creates a very unique perspective that I tried to capture in this scene. Thoughts?

I invite you to visit my Landscape Watercolor Gallery to enjoy this print and many more.

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Sepia Photography – Featured Art Prints

My featured Art Print this week is actually four of them from my Sepia Photography Gallery. They are: “ Logging Tools” – “Mine Cart” – “Wagon Wheel Hub” and “Cedar Rapids Barn”. I’m featuring four prints to illustrate some examples of the type of shots I think make good sepia tone photographs.

Dating back to the 1880’s, sepia toning was a chemical change used on black and white photographs to give them a warmer look and to enhance the archival qualities. Today, we associate the look with old historic photographs. With the advent of digital photo manipulation, it is very easy to recreate that look on any photograph. I use it to support a look that I associate with the tone as being old, historic and rustic. The type of subject matter that I convert to a sepia tone fits into that category and is what comprises my Sepia Photography Gallery.

My first example is from the Issaquah, Washington Railroad Depot Museum, which was built in 1889. This particular train station was an important stop between the mountain towns in the Cascades and Seattle. Issaquah became a point of export for timber, thus the example of tools used to handle the transportation of timber. By it’s very nature, this shot depicts elements dating back to the time of sepia, so it seems pretty natural to show it with those tones.

The next photograph is from the same museum, but depicts a different industry that the area was well-known for; mining. This is another obvious use of the sepia tone to create that old rustic look.

The third shot is an old west wagon wheel I found as part of the ambience for shops set up like an old west town in Cave Creek, Arizona. Again, this seems obvious due to the historic factor of the subject matter.

The last shot is an old barn I found by accident in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In an area on the outskirts where large homes with multiple acres of land have taken over, I saw this barn out of the corner of my eye off the main road behind some trees. Doing my usual, I processed what I think I saw in a short flash, found a place to turn around and drove back to where I had spotted it. It was a short hike through the trees, but I got some great shots. The barn isn’t as old as the use of sepia tones, but due to the condition of the building, I liked the look that this tone gave it.

Maybe these shots seemed like obvious subject matter, but not everything that is “obvious” really looks good in a sepia tone. I think the tone enhanced the look of these subjects and made the final print more interesting. Sepia, just like black and white photography has to have elements of contrast and lines to make a photograph “pop”. The other interesting aspect of this type of art print is how it has been used in interior decor. I have been surprised to see a number of these “old rustic” shots used in more contemporary interior design where warm earth tones are important elements to the overall look. So much of the final look depends on the matting and framing. Thoughts?


I invite you to come into the gallery to view the addition of new art prints to the collection in Sepia Photography Gallery

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Barn in the Valley – Featured Art Print

Last week, I featured two new prints from my Landscape Oil Collection. This week I am going to take a look at two very different prints from my Landscape Watercolor Collection. In this particular collection, I have used a variety of watercolor techniques to create totally different looks to landscape scenes. The first print I wanted to feature is “ Barn in the Valley”. The setting is rural Iowa in wintertime. There isn’t any snow on the ground, just barren trees and brown dormant fields. Even in this type of setting, there is beauty in my opinion. This time of year is a time of rest and regrouping for not only the plant life, but also the farmers that grow the crops. I love the way the barn sits in a small valley surrounded by rolling hills. In this particular print I used a pointillism style for the technique. Pointillism is a style of painting in small distinct dots of color that are applied in a pattern to form an image. The technique was developed in 1886 branching from impressionism. The style creates a very soft look to a scene and the eye combines the dots into a recognizable pattern. In playing with this technique, I find that it either works really well or really poorly and I haven’t seen much in between. I liked it for this scene to keep a soft; warm and casual look to this particular setting. It allows the barn to become center stage without over powering the entire print. Using warm earth tones keeps the scene subtle, yet inviting. Thoughts?

I invite you to come into the gallery to view the collection in Landscape Watercolor.

Please visit my main gallery: TheWallGallery (All domestic orders over $60.00 – free shipping!)

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Hay Loft Door – Featured Art Print

I wanted to feature one more art print from my Abstract Watercolor Gallery. This one is titled “Barn Door”. Technically it is a hay loft door, but let’s work with barn door for short. In abstract art prints, I look for either shapes and colors or pieces of architectural elements to create a look that appeals to me. In doing a shoot at the living history farm, Pickering Farm in Issaquah, Washington last year, I fell in love with the barn. I like barns for whatever reason and this one was no exception. I think it’s the architecture of barns and they all seem to tell a story. I have used the full barn to create prints, but for abstract work, I wanted to focus in on a specific architectural element. I chose the hay loft door which is top right on the attached shot of the barn.

Pickering Barn

Pickering Barn

Using the strong lines of the roof and door, I create the watercolor that I am featuring. I kept the point of view from the ground to emphasize height. The color palette I used expanded on the red barn using red, orange, purple and blue. The look is soft, unique and abstract.



I invite you to come into the gallery to view the new additions to the collection in the Abstract Watercolor Gallery.

Please visit my main gallery: TheWallGallery (All domestic orders over $60.00 – free shipping!)

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“The Barn and the Water Pump” The Art Print of the Week

“The Barn and the Water Pump” is from my Architecture Gallery.  The setting is a barn in the Amana Colonies, Iowa during mid winter. The barn itself is very large with stables just to the left of this viewpoint. I chose this particular shot because it highlights the weathered look of the building and the subtleness of an old water pump in the foreground of the scene. I Love the water pump, it just seemed to make the picture. I tried a variety of painting techniques, but for the look I wanted settled on the watercolor style. It adds softness, yet highlights the rustic look.     Enjoy!

Source: Architecture Gallery

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