Don’t put it down, put it away


Michael John Hunt
Oil on canvas
34″ x 30″

The painting titled “Don’t Put it Down, Put it Away” by Michael John Hunt is a symphony of detailed realism and a vivid play of sunlight. It depicts the interior of an old barn, adorned with a plethora of forgotten treasures – the detritus of decades of collected memories. The scene is filled with a sense of history and charm, exuding a narrative of days long gone.

The most conspicuous element in the painting is an aged wooden cupboard, boasting glass doors above a closed storage unit. The cupboard, a relic from the past, hints at a bygone era when it held pride of place within a home, likely brimming with china or literature. Now it resides in the barn, filled not with household objects, but with the eccentric oddments one might expect in such a location.

Every inch of the cupboard is crammed with captivating miscellanea. Among them, an old hurricane lamp silently presides over the scene from its position atop the cupboard, its glass body catching the sunlight and scattering it into countless miniature rainbows.

To the side of the cupboard, a robust workbench juts out, weighed down by an array of tools , a socket set and other curious artefacts. A retro vice holds a prominent position, hinting at a previous life filled with hard labour and creativity. Buckets filled with an assortment of tools clutter the ground, ready to be stowed away.

An axe, typically symbolic of hard work and endurance, stands in solitude on the floor, its wooden handle aged and worn from use. It on the workbench as if patiently waiting to be summoned for duty.

Adding a stroke of life and colour to the scene, a pair of green wellington boots stands proudly, spotlighted by a shaft of sunlight entering from an unseen window or doorway behind the viewer. The boots’ red linings, exposed to the viewer, glow vibrantly in the sunbeam, casting a warm, inviting glow throughout the barn.

The entire scene is bathed in warm sunlight that filters into the barn from behind, filling the space with soft, amber tones. Shadows, cast by the multitude of objects, contribute to the depth and dimensionality of the painting, while the sunlight serves as a reminder of life’s potential for renewal, even in the most seemingly ordinary settings.