Posted: December 17, 2011 in Artwork, jail art

Each barn has a rich history, particularly for people who have ever spent time working or playing in them. People fall in and out of love in barns. Either way, barns like no other structures have the ability to elicit nostalgia, longing, and some of the best, most embellished stories ever to be told. Most of the stories will be passed, through story telling, from generation to generation, but the stories will never be told in any book, because to confine the stories to typed pages would interfere with their mysterious nature, I think.

Here are some common barn idioms, from wikipedia:

“He couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn” is a popular expression for a person having poor aim when throwing an object or when shooting at something.

To “lock the barn door after the horse has bolted” implies that one has solved a problem too late to prevent it.

“Were you raised in a barn?” is an accusation used differently in various parts of the English-speaking world, but most commonly as a reprimand when someone exhibits poor manners by either using ill-mannered language (particularly if related to manure), or leaving doors open.

“Your barn door is open” is used as a euphemism to remind someone to zip the fly of their trousers.

I have fond barn memories myself, and so I love to draw them. When I first moved to Kentucky, I saw a barn on fire, and I nearly called the fire department, until someone pointed out that I was looking at a tobacco barn where they were drying tobacco. “Looks like the thing is on fire, if you ask me,” I replied.

Kentucky was also my first exposure to the beautiful world of quilting emblems on barns. Here is jimmywayne’s Goddard, Ky quilt barn, from Creative Commons on flickr. His barn is also a tobacco barn. (The black color absorbs the sun’s rays and increases the interior temperature of the barn, so that the tobacco can be dried.):

Goddard Quilt Barn

There are many types of barns. Here is a jail art drawing that I did of a round barn at winter on flickr:

Barn at winter by Crane-Station

Here is a Pennsylvania Dutch Barn by Nicholas_T under Creative Commons on flickr. The photo was taken in Albany Township, Berks County:


Who keeps the order in a barn? Here is Len Blumin’s Barn Owl from Creative Commons on flickr. Len explains that barn owls have a highly specific day roost, and that their biggest enemy is the Great Horned Owl:

Barn Owl

Here is Beverly Public Library MA’s Stetson Carriage House under Creative Commons on flickr:

Stetson Carriage House

Stetson Carriage House

Carriage house for the Stetson Estate, later owned by Robert Evans. The Stetson Cottage was rented by President William Howard Taft for the Summer White House in 1909 and 1910.

Looking at a barn during a storm is haunting and solitary, yet strangely alluring. Here is my jail art drawing of a barn during a storm. In an odd way, I was in a barn, during a storm when I drew this:

Barn During Storm by Crane-Station on flickr (jail art)

from gilesclement under “vintage barn” search Creative Commons on flickr, here is the beautiful picture titled Barns:


Perhaps you have a favorite barn picture or story.

  1. Once again, I am having trouble getting WordPress to take all of my photos. For jimmywayne’s photo, you will need to highlight the link and open it in a new tab; I am very sorry.

  2. laluna says:

    love your rendering of the barn/storm. barns and owls are favorite things….of curiosity, history, and lore. your selections touch on the geography of our current and previous residences. barns and old churches….objects of my affection.

  3. laluna says:

    may all blessings and kind wishes be yours, Crane-Station…with renewed joy and happiness in the months and years ahead to you, Mason, and your families.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s