Katharine Taylor

Schoolhouse on the Hill, April 2020
Oil on Panel
12 x 12 in
My landscapes reflect the scenes around my home in rural Michigan. Many of my subjects are found literally within a mile or two of my house. With each painting I stretch my roots deeper into the farm soil of this land. These landscapes often include an allusion to human presence: a path, a barn, even the marks of farm machinery in the ground. This is a reminder that as our surroundings affect us, we also change our environment, whether cherishing it or damaging it.

In April of 2020, during lockdown due to the pandemic, I painted this scene of an old one-room schoolhouse that stands just down the road. I left the sky spacious to emphasize the mood of loneliness. Although the painting reflects my literal isolation, I also sensed a deeper interpretation in which the schoolhouse endures, set amidst the trees which soften but do not entirely shelter it. Painting grounded me when I felt anxious about the world turned upside down, as the presence of the old building grounds this community in the past. Below, the snow reveals the shape of the earth beneath us.