The Empty Schoolhouse

16" x 20", oil on canvas, 2014

Here I wanted to show that, with so many men off fighting the war, there was a noticeable lack of them back home. Realistically, there would be some very young boys still in school, but I thought a classroom with only girls would be more haunting.

I mentioned earlier that my War At Home section of my WWI painting project wasn't as filled out as I would have liked –there are some interesting stories and paintings, but I think a few more conceptual pieces like this would have made me more satisfied.

I shot reference for this while painting at Ameliasburgh Historical Museum in Prince Edward County back in August. You can see the schoolhouse in the second photo (it's the building on the far left of the frame). I used a young volunteer who was in period-appropriate costume to model as the teacher and all of the girls which I then compiled in Photoshop for my final reference.


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