Sunday, November 5, 2017

Pennsylvania Backroad Farm

Pennsylvania Backroad Farm / 10x10

The storms I passed through spawned a clear, beautiful, chilly morning for my drive from Warwick, NY, to State College, PA. Those warm, golden days of autumn had changed and there was no denying the snap of cold in the morning air.

I left the highway as soon as I could, and bounced along the back roads, looking for farms and foliage and anything else that would make a good painting. As always, the narrowness of the roads, the ubiquitous ditches, the speeding drivers made even photographing farms a challenge, let alone stopping to set up to paint. And on this day, it was windy, which was an extra challenge.

But in time I came to a crossroads with a store on one corner and an abandoned building and parking lot on the other, and was able to situate myself so that I could see the ramshackle barns and the lovely field behind them, and sit in the open side of the van and paint.

West Rutland Art Park

In West Rutland, VT, I rounded a curve on a narrow road and saw a huge human sculpture, wearing rainbow colors, sitting at the bottom of a hill.

When I looked up the hill, I saw more sculptures - and at the driveway, a sign reading "West Rutland Art Park / Public Welcome."

So up the drive I went. There were a handful of sculptures, huge and interesting, framing the landscape and looking at once familiar and alien. At the top of the drive was a great-looking modern house, and a sign indicating that the public road was ending.

The West Rutland Art Park was the brainchild of Barbara and Bill Carris. From what I gather from an Vermont Public Radio story on the park, the Carrises invited nine sculptors to live with them and work on the art for a month, in 2013. One was from Mexico, one from Bulgaria, one possibly from Australia, one from Vermont, and the rest, well, I don't know. But the park was fascinating - and what a great idea! You can check out the West Rutland Art Park Facebook page by clicking here. The photos above and below are sculpture in the park.

Dog of the Day

It's Ollie the collie, who lives with Hope, yesterday's DOD. Ollie is about 8, and Hope maybe 4. As we were leaving, Ollie was at the fence, watching us. Hope came out of the house, noticed that Ollie was distracted, and ran right into him. Ollie took off after her, clearly happy to be loved, played with and knocked around.

A Final Thought

"The tints of autumn... a mighty flower garden
blossoming under the spell of the enchanter, frost."
- John Greenleaf Whittier

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