Vintage Barn Painting

Old Barn Los Osos California. An acrylic painting I did as a student of R. Bradfor Johnson. (799x800)

This is a vintage barn painting that I did under the tutelage of R. Bradford Johnson, renowned western artist. Roger and I were good became good friends when i started in the sign business in Whittier, Calif. in 1972. I would trade signs for painting lessons and i spent several Saturdays learning how to paint with acrylics. Roger was one of the first artists I met who used this medium. I found him to be a very good teacher and we remained friends until his passing.

This is the type of vintage barn that was found on most farms from the East coast to the West. Back in the 1930’s, someone came up with the idea of advertising on the large faces of these barns and this was the job of the sign painter. Sometimes hand lettered signs were also put on the roofs of these now vintage barns.

Today the artwork is referred to as Vintage Style Barn Signs.

When I was working at Disneyland there were several locations where I either touched up or lettered these kinds of signs. They take a special technique sign painters and faux finishers call ‘aging’.  I also use this technique when lettering smaller signs on aged wood fencing for a rustic look.

Mail Pouch Tobacco Barns,  are barns with one or more sides, painted from 1890 to 1992 with a barn advertisement, for the West Virginia Mail Pouch Chewing Tobacco Company. At the height of the program in the early 1960’s there were 20,000 Mail Pouch Barns spread across 22 states.(Wikepedia.)

The idea caught on and other businesses took advantage of these large areas for their advertising. The practice of hand lettered and pictorial advertising on wood structures, brick and concrete continues to this day.