Joshua Cunningham

Slipping Away, April 2020
Oil on Mounted Linen
9 x 12 in
"Slipping Away" is the first painting I created on location after a month of being home in the studio during the early stages of Minnesota's lockdown. It was good to be out on a chilly morning with the bright sun and a sharp breeze in one of my favorite valleys. There is a farmer who owns most of the valley. He is a one-man preservation society. The valley and surrounding bluffs have been his home for all his life. His ancestors immigrated from the British Isles on a ship to New York. A train to St. Louis followed by riverboat up the Mississippi to Winona, Minnesota, and from there they marveled at how they walked for weeks without ever leaving the woods. He knows his fields better than most people know their neighbors and manages them accordingly. As we visited a bit while I painted, he reminded me how his father helped build this beautiful round barn for a fellow farmer, but he doesn't own it, and added with notable sadness, that it isn't long for this world. "It's good that you're painting it. People need to know; they need to remember."