“Farm Stories”

I once read that the images that are imprinted on an artist’s brain in the first five years are the images that play out through all of their creative lives.  I don’t know if this is true, but I can imagine that it is, after finding a book that was my favorite as a young child.  The book “Farm Stories” was published in 1946, and probably given to me soon after.  The stories were not interesting to me in the least…this I remember clearly.  The illustrations, by Gustaf Tenggren, were powerfully attractive to me though, and still have a resonance.

I thought I’d put them here to explain to myself why I like dark blue and white checked fabric, quilts, stormy nights, window views, simple flowers, random objects floating in space, the west, and so on…you get the idea, and probably have such a book in your own library somewhere…









IMG_5484 IMG_5486 IMG_5492 (1)


…and speaking of Farm Stories…the MIG farm cart is open for lunch!!









  1. showing
    a gentle time for children…even the “scary” is gentle……..not a “fang”
    among ’em

  2. I can definitely see the influence. Ferdinand the bull is a book I remember. Hmm, black, white and red? I think I had more TV in my life than books. Oh dear.

  3. This book must have crossed my path as well, as the the heart swelled at seeing these images. Something very familier there.

  4. How did you figure this out? I can’t remember at all what a favorite was for me – “Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel?”

    Amazing images.

  5. These illustrations aroused a lively conversation here between nic & myself about our experiences with early images. nic conveyed that there were several prints by Grant Wood in his home when he was young, and that they have stayed with him through the decades. Tenggren’s delicious illustrations of farmlands reminded him of Wood’s.

    BTW, LeeAnn, i not only remember ‘Ferdinand the Bull’, but my family called me Ferdinand the Bull because i preferred to sit under a tree in the shade and read a book to cavorting about in the hot sun.

  6. I watch for a number of different authors and illustrators when searching through children’s books in thriftstores. And because I am of an age (what a great euphemism!) I also remember Tenggren’s art with great fondness and nostalgia. His books do show up, but one has to be persistent and patient to find these treasures..

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