Why paint tractors? The Newburyport Ten Plein Air Painters have been granted permission by many small New England farm families to roam about their farms and to set up our easels to paint. When I first started doing this, I noticed how many of these farms had tractors that had been passed down for a few generations. Full of a quirky personality, the tractors reminded me of these farmers; hard working, no frills, a little bit beat up, and with a rugged individuality. As I set up to paint, the owners would approach me and tell stories of the tractors and the meaning they had in their lives.
“My father got that tractor during WWII when there was a quota on how many tractors could be built, and he loved that thing.”
“My husband took me for a ride on that tractor during our first date.”
“That tractor is a 1947 Massey-Harris and a beauty, can I have a copy of the painting?”