From barn to manor. I call them 1″ wonders.
I had never seen these sticks in their raw form but knew instantly that I wanted to paint them.
I discovered them on a summer driving trip with my friend Gino. They were stacked and dusty in the corner of a barn with, I was told, no future use on the farm as the farm had stopped growing tobacco crops many years prior.
I loved them at first sight. Objects who’s silhouette sold me as unique. And there were thousands. And they were not fragile.These were solid. And slender. Truly marvels.
Officially, and around the world, they’re known as tobacco sticks. Wood farm tools hewn from trees, and in this case, likely trees from our friend’s farm. Centuries old trees became half-century old farm tools. Now… modern day canvas. Each it’s own accent.
1″ x 52″, solid, brilliantly evocative, and stately when held. While similar in form each has variations. Their weight depends on their wood. Pecan, Chestnut, Ash, Oak, Pine.
I was encouraged to take a few back to NYC. “Take them all,” they said. I brought back six. One of those original six sticks is now in their house on the farm. The Daffodil Stick.
One year after I started painting the sticks I presented them at an NYC Greenwich Village Arts Festival where they were awarded most successful use of recycled materials. No one had ever seen individual sticks treated as I had.
They’re a new form of American art/craft – the singularly painted tobacco stick.
Artifact to art. Barn to manor. Farm to accent.
Painted tobacco sticks are slender accents. They do not shout but rather remind with delight how fortunate life is with beauty in it.
They can be leaned, grouped, or mounted (horizontally or vertically) in the narrowest spaces – on walls, over door thresholds, and on columns. Look around the rooms you’re in and see where potentials lay for a bit of art to accent your life.