Across the Cane Field

calumet slave housesslave houses (1)Whenever we would drive west of Morgan City, LA, along the highway was this cane field in Calumet. I noticed that at the back side of the field were a row of little houses, but all I could see were the gables at the roof line because the cane had grown so tall.  Then the next time I rode by that field of cane was when it had all been harvested and cut down. That was when I could see the little houses in a row.  I found out those where slave houses.   Here I have this old and faded picture of them as they were when the cane was tall and a picture of when it was cut down.  I made an oil painting of this scene just as the photo showed them.  I thought it was a nice work, but found out I could do it differently at a workshop I went to with Judi Betts as the mentor.  She encouraged me to take a lot of liberty and paint the way I thought it would  be fun.  Well, it was then that I learned that I  didn’t have to report the colors in the photo as they really were, but as long as I used the same value of dark and light in another color sceme it could be an exciting painting!  Indeed it was, and I have never wanted to sell that painting and love to show how it can be more thrilling than just reporting the facts of the photo.slave houses