Vermont Painting Residency

This is a good opportunity for me to paint. Away from responsibilities at home, and away from work and wonderful clients. I'm here to focus on PAINTING! A note for NEW blog viewers: if you'd like to read chronologically, begin with the posting at the bottom. The most recent postings are at the top. Additionally, one can double-click on most images to enlarge for more detail.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

At Home

I’ve returned home and reflecting on my month in Vermont. And it seems that I brought the cool and rainy weather home with me. I’m looking forward to applying the knowledge that I gained. Stay tuned for updates in the site. A few final photos from Vermont.

Friday, June 09, 2006

'Jail Break'

Yep, this is an odd expression, but this is what my artist girlfriends named our adventure during our last week at VSC. There we had a healthy diet of fresh vegetables, whole grain bread and salads so we all had the urge to gorge ourselves on pizza and sugary desserts...and maybe a martini.

In order to feel like we had officially escaped, we traveled to the town of Stowe about 30 minutes away. Of course the proper place for ‘jail break’ artists to have pizza was a restaurant called Pie-casso (get it?). Many thanks to our patient waiter Ray. Hopefully he will read the rest of this blog and be able to explain to the Piecasso staff about their rowdy patrons. Ray explained that our voices carried and stirred a bit of curiosity back in the kitchen.

His announcement encourages our story to be spun into something more extravagant. So now we have recently escaped from a women’s prison…of course I’m the outside accomplice providing hacksaw (hidden in one of Roger's cakes, of course) and a getaway car. My reward is a watermelon martini. The following are a few photos from our escapade.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Dining Hall, Studio and friends

My sister, Donna, asked me to post photos of our Dining Hall at VSC. Hi Donna, hope this will do. The Dining Hall is in the Red Mill building (see photo from early blog posting).

These are my artist friends, Elizabeth and Erin. Elizabeth has on her sunglasses because we had a sunny day when this photo was taken. The following photos are of my studio and a sample of some of the paintings that I've completed while I have been here.

One can double-click on the image to see more detail.

The photo at below and right is of my artist friends, Stephanie and Jet. They are in the gallery lounge adjacent to the Dining Hall. Look above and left (behind the dried grass) and you will see my painting on-display.

Roger came for a visit last week and I picked him up in Burlington. We sat outside and had a hamburger at a restaurant with a dock along Lake Champlain. We saw a ship full of sightseers and Roger took this photo below.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Entertainment in Johnson, VT

Besides the interesting lectures and presentations provided by visiting artists and the VSC artists and writers, there is other entertainment here. I was completing work in my studio one evening last week. I heard music and followed it to a source down the hallway in “the Gym” discovering a dance party. How convenient…so close to my studio. I thank my dance partner, Erin, for sharing these photos.

Knowing that I don’t enjoy laundry, a few of my buddies asked me to join them. I was promised an interesting experience. Amazing how a group of artists can turn a mundane chore into entertainment. The adventure began when we made a collective decision to drive to the Laundromat. It is important to mention here for those not familiar with the metropolis of Johnson, VT that the Laundromat is only two blocks from VSC.
The return trip was a bit longer, since we traveled to Morrisville (10 miles one-way) for videos and stale Dunkin Doughnuts (I didn’t know they made them only in the morning…where’s a “HOT” sign at the Krispy Kreme when you need to fulfill a late night attack of the munchies).

A near disaster was averted when Elizabeth used her alertness and good driving skills to dodge a skunk crossing the highway (I was more impressed by the skunk’s skill at getting the h*!!-out-of-the-way of our swift Volvo).

It was like a heat-wave today (I think it possibly made it to 80 degrees if one sat in a sunny spot). Sporting flip-flops and shorts, the residents of VSC made trips to rivers, creeks and swimming holes. Ivette and Erin directed me to this beautiful place less than 2 miles from VSC. Childhood experiences in the Blue Ridge Mts., taught me that the water temperature here would be like ice-water. Yet, not to be outdone by the girls, I succumbed to my inner macho and plunged into the water. I think I screamed like a little girl (and, to think, I was worried about letting them paint my toenails last week). 2 hours later, I regained the feeling in my feet. Below is our swimming hole...looks like fresh glacial water, doesn't it?

Monday, May 22, 2006

Photos by Stephanie

The following photos were taken by Stephanie Beach, another painter here at VSC. The first one on the right is Ruth Miller, the visiting painter. The photo below and left is Stephanie in her studio. The next photos are show a flooded farm near Johnson and the rainbow that appeared outside of the dining hall (viewing toward the east). Thanks Stephanie.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Painting Party at Pearl House

Not what you are thinking. Painters don’t always have to paint on canvas. The following photos show a few of my painting buddies, Erin, Ivette, and Elizabeth. We are in the sitting area above my room in Pearl. The first photo is them busy painting their toenails. In the second photo, they are thanking Roger for packing a bag of snacks for our 14 hour driving trip last week (guess he thought he could bribe me with sweets when I became too unruly...didn't work...I think he said something about tranquizers for the ride home).
Because the food has been so healthy, good and filling here at VSC, I’d not been tempted to raid the snack bag in my car. That is until Elizabeth said the pedicure party wasn’t complete...we needed junk food. No one really wanted to make a run to the store in the rain...then I remembered the snack bag. The party had been saved! The girls had originally threatened to paint my toenails…but thanks to the sweets, chocolate and Poppycock…everyone was fulfilled…and my toes were spared.

Good Weather for Ducks

I woke this morning and didn’t hear the sound of rain. There seemed to be a little streak of sunlight coming in between the slats of the blinds. Finally! I quickly got dressed, grabbed my camera and headed out the door. Even at 7am on a Sunday, there were several VSC artists awake and scurrying about celebrating the sunlight. Someone stopped me to comment that it looks like an entirely different place when the sun is out...since we haven’t seen it in a week.

The above left photo is a trio of wild ducks…they sense that Louise is outside and are making a beeline to her garden where she feeds them. At the right and below is a photo of Louise’s ducks.

As I planned a trip to venture outside Johnson (my car has been parked for a whole week) I noticed the sky beginning to darken. In less than a half an hour, it began to sprinkle rain again. I was still determined to leave despite the threatening skies. I headed north to the Belvidere (correct spelling) Mountain area.

The photo at left is a waterfall adjacent to the highway and near Johnson.

I traveled until I saw a sign for a hiking trail. The photo below and right was taken along the trail...before it began raining…not again...RATS!

I returned to my car and got on the road and headed back south in the direction toward Johnson. I saw acres of farmland adjacent to a river that had flooded its banks. One would usually see a field in the foreground of the photo at below right…but it is now a lake.

Not yet entirely satisfied with my adventure, I reconsidered returning to Johnson and instead followed signs to Smuggler’s Notch. This area is a popular ski area with many rock-faced cliffs and waterfalls one can see from the road. I stopped to take the photo below where the road snakes in and out of giant boulders…even in my fleece jacket, I was cold. I heard someone talk about a snow forecast…ridiculous…right? The low temp for tonight is 39 degrees...the good news is that the prediction is for only a 30% chance of showers.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Saw the sun today.

For the first time since I've been here, the sun came out today. It happened just after lunch and stayed out for about 3 hours. It is raining now. The photo at left is of the main street in Johnson. The white churchlike building is another painting studio called 'Church' and the red brick building is a bookstore. The Chinese take-out restaurant is just out of the left side of the photo (behind the flag)...after Roger reads this I'd bet he calls in an order of Sweet and Sour Chicken wherever he is.

I have been working on small, but more serious paintings. I am happy with the results and my progress at this stage. This setup is excellent for the way that I tend to work. I get to the studio after breakfast, work as much as I can until lunch. I help Louise in the gardens for a couple of hours (part of my work-study grant). And return to work in the studio for about 3 hours until supper. I work for another hour or more in the evening.

This evening we went to the Lecture Hall (another converted church, photo below) and saw slides of 6 fellow artists' work. Maybe it was the church setting, or the 2 hours of weeding in the gardens, or most likely the second helping of bread at dinner...something caused me to nodd-off during the presentations...I hope the art god wasn't watching me.