Carpinteria has a Pumpkin Patch called, "Happy Jack's Pumpkin Patch".
In 1995, around October 31, I stopped by the patch on a night when it was eerily desolate, and I saw this scene. The trailer's long shadows cast across the musty field of pumpkins and sunflowers. The lights in the trailer were on, and the shadow of Happy Jack, the scarecrow, showed in the window, giving the appearance of a human presence that may ward off lurkers or thiefs.
Cool blue light came from beyond the trees in the distance. I painted the lights emanating from the trees, and the next day when I viewed the painting it gave the impression of a jack-o-lantern. It truly is one of the parts of the painting untouched from that night.
In 1997 when interviewing my future adviser for my Master's Degree, Bruce Everett, and Cal State Univ., Northridge, He saw this painting in my portfolio, and suggested I paint this content for the following two years; paintings he deemed as, "Unsellable".
For two years, I was to paint one painting every two weeks: Drive down to C.S.U.N., from Carpinteria, 2-3 times per week, attend classes, drive back up to Carpinteria, at night, and paint subjects toward my thesis, in places most people would never go at night, mostly out of fear.
Add Teaching at Santa Barbara City College, producing artwork for gallery exhibitions, a stay at home wife, and new-born child to the mix, and there you have one maxed-out system .
Late One Night in a Pumpkin Patch
18x24 oil 1995