The Champaign County Historical Society is conducting an online auction of the original paintings depicted in the 2023 Barns of Champaign County calendar sold by the CCHS.
The artist, Dr. Robert Kroeger, offered these to the museum for use as a fund-raising mechanism to benefit the operations of the museum.
Kroeger, a retired dentist living in Cincinnati, began his “barn journey” in the early 2000s following a stay in a rural bed and breakfast in Licking County, Ohio. A nearby lonely deteriorating barn, “Granville Gray,” called out to him. With roof sagging, boards missing, corners slightly tilted, and in obvious disrepair, it captivated his eye. Suddenly a voice whispered, “Paint it and write about it.” The message was like a lightning bolt that hit him between the eyes.
Almost immediately, it ignited his Ohio Barn Project, which has taken Kroeger throughout Ohio where he has painted barns, talked with owners, and written stories about each structure. The stories can be found at www.barnart.weebly.com The result of his work was published in the book, Historic Barns of Ohio, which is available at the museum for $24. In addition to the book, there is a limited number of the 2023 calendars available for $15.
Dr. Kroeger uses impasto oil in the paintings applying with knives rather than brushes, resulting in a painting having many intricate, raised ridges. The oil reflects light in different ways because it protrudes from the canvas.
With the ability to use heavier impasto in areas of the painting, this emphasis can give a third dimension that traditional oil cannot. Many of the frames are constructed from the barn in the painting, but all the frames are from old barn wood.
The online auction will end on Jan. 20 at noon. Visit www.champaigncountyhistoricalmuseum.org and don’t miss this opportunity to own an original work of art depicting a historic Champaign County barn.