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 painter. Roger and I were good friends back in the 70’s and I would trade signs for painting lessons. This painting was done with acrylics and Roger was one of the first artists I met who used this medium. I did several ‘class’ paintings with him, and I found him to be a very good teacher.

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.

Some of the signs that were hand lettered on the barns were referred to as Mail Pouch Tobacco Signs. 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 call ‘aging’. We’re lettering them with new paint but they must have that vintage look. Some call this technique faux finishing. I also use this technique when lettering smaller signs on aged wood fencing.

Mail Pouch Tobacco Barn, or simply Mail Pouch Barn, is a barn 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.)