Thursday, September 18, 2014

The last New England Easel - VT

Vermont is gorgeous! Even in the rain. Tuesday morning I crossed the bottom of the state on Hwy 9 and found a diner tucked into the valley. I sat on a crookedy stool and read a local paper while waiting for the weather to clear. The coffee was strong and the people were quiet. I read a story about a covered bridge that was swept away in the storms of Hurricane Irene and finally replaced. I watched two biker chicks in leather chaps, flannel shirts and long braids come in and order breakfast. Mother Nature was making me slow down.

Good thing, cause travel is tiring. I needed to find a quiet place to paint without an audience. Back in the car, still heading east, I passed through Wilmington, a quaint little town. The Green Mountain National Forest was just ahead, then the state ends. Mist clung to the low hills and I crossed many a rocky stream that called out to be painted. The problem was - where? And then I saw a dead end road and pulled in. I parked and climbed down the hill. It was still overcast but I had found my spot, protected from the elements under the two lane highway. I began to draw.

The composition was challenging. I forgave myself for not fitting the mountains in and concentrated on the moving water. The gurgling was entrancing but I was dead tired. As the sky cleared and clouds blossomed, the light kept changing as if someone was clicking a switch on and off. Were the rocks pink or blue-grey? Argh! I put colors down, not really caring. This piece would never survive. I had a disaster on my hands but I continued, in the effort to cover up all white.

And then something happened. I got lost in the process and my exaughstion disappeared. The paint began to cooperate and I stared making sense of the space. Aside from the occasional truck rumbling above me, my location felt suddenly serene. 

After three hours I called it good and packed up my stuff for the last time this trip. I liked what I had done and was ready to head home. I had no definite place to stay that night so I just got on the road and drove. The late afternoon light was exquisite. Highway 90 across the state of New York provides the most awesome views of the Hudson River Valley. Now I understand why all those painters were drawn here so long ago.

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