LIFE PAINTING. An old sepia print. A symbol of new beginning.

Jamie’s Blog on reopening the Roots Salon
April 27, 2013


“Fluid brushwork and rich colouring emphasise the sheer beauty of the pastoral scene, while suppressing the sense of back-breaking work that was reality, they would often continue to gather crops into the night… ”

The original of Harvest Moon, George Mason’s 1872 pastoral scene hangs in the Tate in London. I have a sepia-tone print hanging in my kitchen, cleaned and restored after a grease fire last winter. Though the moon of the title is barely visible now and faded with time, the cleaning illuminated subtleties we missed– a wagon weighed down with hay, a long winding path to the house, the face of a gypsy, violin in hand – whispering to a reticent girl, distracted and draped in white. My friend Jean and I found this sepia-toned print in an antique shop in Ridgefield, Il, in summer of 1993. I was looking for things that would gain in value over the years.

print before restoration

The print has had a journey of its own – surviving house fires and shifting home-design trends, moving from living room to library to attic. Now, 20 years later, it is the lone painting on a soft yellow wall in my new old-world style kitchen, a symbol of hard work and beauty, awaiting the guests for the spring soiree tonight, and the next chapter of its long life.



Study of Harvest Moon, 1872


Roots Salon is an artist gathering space in the home of Jamie O’Reilly.
“Roots Salon, Art That Digs Deep”